6:24 PM
Kristi Wicken Kimes

The ex-husband of a woman who was found stabbed to death on Monday is facing charges related to her death.

Greene County prosecutor's charged Kelly Lee Kimes, 51, with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the death of 47 year-old Kristi Wicken Kimes.  Kimes was found slumped over the wheel of her vehicle in the Taco Bell parking lot at W. Chestnut and W. Bypass about 7:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Witnesses say the saw a man walk away from the vehicle shortly after it swerved into the restaurant parking lot.

Court documents say surveillance cameras show the Hyundai pulling into the parking lot and after several minutes a man, who looks like Kelly Kimes, exiting the vehicle and dropping a white handled knife into nearby bushes.

Kristi Kimes was found murdered in this vehicle (courtesy Springfield News-Leader)

Authorities say Kristi Kimes dropped her daughters off at her ex-husbands house shortly before whe was found murdered.  When detectives went to Kelly Kimes' home they found the girls there and an impaired Kelly Kimes. 

Investigators told him they were there because of "an incident" and asked if he would accompany them to police headquarters.  Court documents say that as Kimes was getting ready his speech was slurred and he had trouble standing. 

He said "it was a bad deal," then put his had down and started crying.  He said he and his ex-wife had been married for 25 years, but she no longer loved him and it "was hard for him to deal with."

He told officers he had gone for a walk earlier that morning and asked if "she" was okay.  When asked who she was, Kimes replied, "Kristi."  Prior to that statement, Kelly Kimes had not been told what incident authorities wanted to talk to him about.

While being questioned at headquarters, Kimes' condition quickly deteriorated and an ambulance was called to transport him to a nearby hospital.  Authorities believe Kimes drank antifreeze and told his daughter's to prepare a will in case anything happened to him.

According to the probable cause statement, when police searched Kelly Kimes' home on Tuesday they found a knife similar to the one that was found in the bushes near Taco Bell.  Inside the garage they found tennis shoes and a pair of jeans with "stains consistent with blood" in a plastic tub.

The Kimeses were divorced about eight years ago, but had lived together as recently as a year ago when Kristi Kimes asked the court for a full order of protection from her ex-husband.

It appears that Kelly Kimes is still in the hospital as he has not been booked into the Greene County jail. However, a warrant with a $500,000 bond has been issued for his arrest.  Officer David Snider said yesterday that a suspect was "under constant observation at a local hospital."

Kelly Kimes waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will stand trial for his ex-wife's murder.