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HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) — Officials in Hannibal now say foul play is not suspected in the death of a man found at a hotel.

The body of 63-year-old Howard Miller was discovered Wednesday morning at the Best Way Inn, just a few blocks from the Mark Twain historic sites in the northeast Missouri town.

The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that the cause of death remains a mystery after a preliminary autopsy. Marion County Coroner Darrell McCoy says it may be several weeks before the cause is known.
Friday, 15 March 2013 15:56
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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The 18-year-old triggerman in a 2011 shooting death in St. Joseph has been sentenced to 75 years in prison.

Elijah Pickett was sentenced Friday for killing 28-year-old Brian Ulmer during a robbery attempt at Ulmer's home. He was convicted in January of second-degree murder and several other charges.

Prosecutors say Pickett shot Ulmer three times at point-blank range.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports Pickett said he planned to appeal because he was unhappy with the effort of his attorney.

Two other defendants, Kasey Hall and Xavier Johnson, were each sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. A fourth defendant was found not guilty. A fifth defendant is in federal prison and no date has been set for his trial.
Friday, 15 March 2013 15:54
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A review of a terrible case of child abuse from 2010 in O'Fallon, Missouri, has led to felony charges.

The story dates back to an anonymous tip of child abuse in 2010. When police arrived at the home named in the tip, they found a six-year-old boy with autism locked in a cage in the basement. The boy was naked and sitting in urine and feces. Police also found five other children living in the home. All the children were taken into protective custody, but later returned to the home.

St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar assumed office at the beginning of the year and made child safety a top priority. When he reviewed this case, he determined that although the parents may have felt overwhelmed, it was no excuse for the dangerous neglect they subjected their son to. The parents, Victoria and Terry Smith now face charges of child endangerment, but they are not in custody.
Friday, 15 March 2013 14:20
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Teens are being targeted in a crack down to enforce seat belt laws in Missouri.

Police say on 66 percent of Missouri teens wear their seat belt when driving or riding in a vehicle. Under the graduated driver's license law, all passengers in a car being driven by someone 16 to 18 years must wear their seat belt. Otherwise, police can pull the driver over and issue a ticket.

Safety officials say eight out of 10 teens killed in traffic crashes are unbuckled. And wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.
Friday, 15 March 2013 14:17
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