Two men have been charged with murder and placed under $1 million bond in the Chariton and Randolph County Jails, in connection with a crime spree that occurred late Sunday evening and into early Monday morning, and which left one person dead and three injured.
Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Fusselman filed charges of First Degree Murder on Jeffrey Jay Nichols, 22, and Christopher D. Lewis, 19, both of Macon, Mo., late Monday afternoon (April 1). Their bond was set at $1 million by Judge Cynthia Suter. The pair is awaiting arraignment.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Moberly and Macon Police Departments, and the Randolph County Sheriff held a joint press conference on Monday afternoon, discussing the goings-on of the night before, as well as the capture of Nichols and Lewis mid-morning Monday.
“On Monday, April 1, 2013, at approximately 10 a.m., members of the Macon Police Department, Moberly Police Department, Randolph County Sheriff’s Department, Macon County Sheriff’s Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and members of a Missouri State Highway Patrol SWAT team were able to take an 18-year-old black male nd a 22-year-old white male, both of Macon, Mo., into custody without incident,” said Macon Police Chief Stephen Olinger. J. Nichols was said by Randolph County Sheriff Mark Nichols to “often frequent Moberly.”
The officials present also revealed that one of the persons shot during the crime spree Sunday night was in “fair condition,” while the other was listed as being in “serious condition.” A third victim was assaulted by the duo. A fourth victim — a 92-year-old female — was found dead in the 400 block of Morehead St., Moberly. They say that the woman had died “as a result of foul play.”
“An autopsy is scheduled to be conducted at the Boone County Medical Examiner’s office on Tuesday, April 2, 2013,” said Moberly Police Chief Russell Tarr.
Per the press release provided by the aforementioned departments, the incident began at approximately 8:15 p.m., when the Randolph County Sheriff’s office was called in response to a vehicle fire on Randolph County Road 2515. While in route, deputies were called to respond to a report of two individuals who had been shot at a residence on Hwy. Route D, also in-county. While at the scene of this incident, another victim, who lives a short distance from the shooting scene, reported that she had ben assaulted by a white male and black male, and that they had stolen her vehicle.
At this time, the Randolph County Sheriff’s office received another report of a residential burglary, including the theft of another vehicle “in the Higbee, Mo. area.” During this investigation, it was determined that the black and white males were connected to this and the prior criminal offenses.
Page 2 of 2 - The burned vehicle on Randolph County Road 2515 was determined to belong to a Moberly resident. This information was passed on to the Moberly PD, who discovered the deceased female when they attempted to make contact with the owner, in the 400 block of Morehead, found the location to be unsecure, and made entry.
Earlier in the day, the Moberly PD investigated a shoplifting incident involving a black male and a white male at the Moberly Super Wal-Mart. A sales associate at the store was able to obtain a license number from the suspect vehicle, which was determined to have been stolen from Macon, Mo. on Sunday, March 31, 2013.
“As investigative leads developed,” the release stated, “law enforcement agencies were able to identify the possible suspects of the Randolph County crime spree. Further developments [led] law enforcement to the city of Macon, where officers believed the suspects were hiding.”
At 8:30 a.m., information was received that the suspects were possibly in a residence in the 100 block of West Third Street, Macon, Mo. Nichols and Lewis were taken into custody “without incident” Third and Rollins, in Macon, per the Macon PD. From there, the two were taken to Randolph County for further investigation.
“I appreciate the joint effort [that these departments used to catch the assailants],” said Isaac Ogle, father of five and a resident of Moberly who lives in close proximity to the Morehead Street murder locale, and who was present at Monday’s press conference. “It was to my understanding that these were dangerous felons. It was my understanding that when you opened the door to these guys, they were going to shoot you. If they saw you out and about, they were going to shoot you. [The departments] all came together and caught these guys. I think that deserves a great applaud from our community.”