Bolivar teen dies after fight over $250 debt

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

BOLIVAR, Mo. (AP) -- A man has been charged with killing a southwest Missouri man who apparently was trying to collect a $250 debt.

John Michael Loomis, who moved to Boliver from Carmichael, Calif., a month ago, was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Christopher Cornell, 19, of Bolivar. Loomis' girlfriend, Josiellena Donna Schaefer, 22, is charged with abandonment of a corpse for allegedly helping hide Cornell's body.

Loomis was being held Tuesday in the Polk County Jail on a $250,000 bond. Court records indicated that he did not yet have an attorney.

Schaefer also is in jail on a $25,000 bond. Her attorney did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday.

Both Loomis and Schaefer are scheduled to appear in court Oct. 31.

Police said Loomis explained in great detail how he used a pocketknife, nylon rope, a BB-gun pistol and broken liquor bottles to subdue and kill Cornell early Thursday morning during a fight.

Loomis told investigators Cornell came to his southwest Missouri house and demanded repayment of the debt.

According to a probable-cause statement released Monday, Loomis claimed Cornell grabbed a pocketknife Loomis was carrying and tried to attack him. Loomis said he repeatedly hit Cornell with whiskey bottle and pulled the teen back in the house when he tried to flee.

Loomis said he then used the other weapons to fend off Cornell. Loomis later wrapped the body with trash bags and a blanket, before leaving the body in Cornell's truck in a parking lot.

Information from: Springfield News-Leader,

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