This blog will mainly focus on crime in and around Southwest Missouri....Winner Of Springfield Blogger's Association: ROOKIE BLOG OF THE YEAR 2009--WINNER News or Current Events Blog Of The Year 2010
Forsyth, Mo.- The murder trial of a man accused of helping kidnap and murder a Willard couple in 2011 has been delayed.
Taney County prosecutor Jeff Merrell says Judge Calvin Holden was assigned Dusty Hicks’ case late last month following the death of Presiding Judge Mark Orr in June.
Becky and Rusty Porter were kidnapped from their farmhouse near Willard in April of 2011. Their remains were found in rural Taney County several months later.
Rusty Porter and Robert Campbell were engaged in a dispute over property at the family compound of off HH Highway at the time the couple disappeared. During Windy Friend’s trial it was revealed that Rusty Porter’s uncle, Robert Campbell, offered to pay the Tony Friend $100,000 “for two birthdays.”
A jury found Windy Friend guilty for her part in the Porters deaths earlier this year. Tony Friend pleaded guilty late last year to two counts of murder. They were each sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Robert Campbell is scheduled to stand trial in October. His wife, Carolyn, committed suicide after she was released from jail on perjury charges in April.
Tony’s son, Phillip Friend, turned state’s evidence and pleaded guilty to amended charges of two counts of second-degree murder and felonious restraint. He was sentenced to seven years in prison on the felonious restraint charges and will learn his fate on the murder convictions upon the completion of the remaining trials.