Joseph Kertz is accused of having an improvised weapon in his jail cell. He was arrested in October of 2016 on homicide and other charges.
HUNTSVILLE, Mo. — A Moberly man currently being held at the Randolph County Justice Center on a murder charge is now facing an additional charge of possessing a weapon at a jail.
Joseph Lee Kertz, 28, was found to have an improvised weapon and alcohol-making materials in his cell at the Justice Center, according to a probable cause statement written by a Randolph County Sheriff's Office sergeant.
Kertz was charged in February with two felony counts of delivery or possession of a weapon at a jail or correctional center. A warrant was served March 7. He was placed under a $50,000 cash-only bond.
Officers found sharpened metal, broken fingernail clippers and a sheet metal screw inserted into a blue pen cap in Kertz's cell, according to the probable cause statement. A paper sack containing “a plastic zip lock bag containing fermented fruit and raisins used to make alcohol” was also found, according to the statement.
Kertz was arrested in October of 2016 on seven felony charges, including homicide. He is accused of the killing of 39-year-old Boonville man Kevin McCuiston. McCuiston's body was reportedly discovered with a gunshot wound after the Moberly Fire Department put out a small fire in a Moberly residence on Calhoun Street. Law enforcement had responded earlier to a report of shots fired at the residence.
Law enforcement officers also arrested Eathan Longbine, 26, of Moberly in connection with the homicide. He was charged with second-degree murder.
According to a probable cause statement related to Longbine's arrest, a woman interviewed by Moberly police said she, Kertz and Longbine were involved in the shooting of McCuiston. She said she had enticed McCuiston to come to the residence, where he was supposed to be robbed.
Longbine admitted to the intent to rob McCuiston but has denied being present for the shooting.
A court document from last October described a recorded phone call Kertz made to his mother from jail. Kertz said he would leave the country and shoot law enforcement officers who tried to follow him, according to the document. Kertz was also reportedly recorded asking his mother to clean out his home before law enforcement could search it and describing a recent murder he was involved in, although which incident he was referring to was unclear.
Online court records list Kertz's attorney as public defender Edward Lee Guinn. The Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney's Office is handling the prosecution.
A preliminary hearing for Kertz's new charges was set for May 3 at 9 a.m. in the Justice Center, according to online court records. Kertz is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.