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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Michael Studer trial judge named

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  • Russell E. Steele, judge of the 2nd Judicial Circuit, Adair County, Kirksville, has been assigned to hear the case of State vs Michael A. Studer. Studer (born 1982)  is charged with second-degree murder in the Oct. 8, 2013, murder of Adrienne Arnett, 61, of Hannibal.
    The Missouri Supreme Court order was issued on Nov. 21.
    Through his attorney, Jennifer Richardson of the public defender’s office, Studer filed for a change of judge and venue on Nov. 4.
    Arnett was working the night shift at a Shinn Lane convenience store the night she was murdered. Witness testimony indicates she appeared to have been stocking a display of  chips when she was shot.
    Studer and Gary Wiltermood were arrested a day later, and charged with murder in the second degree.
    Studer entered a not guilty plea to second degree murder, a Class A felony, on Nov. 4. He is being held in the Marion County Jail at Palmyra on a $500,000, cash-only bond.
    Judge presided over Piersee double murder case in 2009
    A noteworthy case officiated at by Judge Steele, was the October 2009 double murder case against Christopher Piersee of LaGrange.
    The capital murder case ended with a plea bargain. Piersee pled guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the death of his wife and 5-month-old son, in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
    On Oct. 29, 2009, Judge Steele sentenced Piersee, then 24, to two life terms in prison without parole.

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