Authorities releasing little information in Scott City killing
Thursday, January 3, 2008
BENTON, Mo. -- Authorities are being tight-lipped about the events that led to the death of Stanley Frank Hagan of Scott City.
Police and prosecutors are only releasing information contained in the murder and armed criminal action indictments against 18-year-old Marcus A. Bowers of Scott City that were handed down this morning by a grand jury.
Police were also secretive during the investigation, initially reporting the death as an accident to the Southeast Missourian.
Hagan died Sept. 28 at Saint Francis Medical Center after receiving head trauma. Police allege Bowers threw Hagan down onto a mobile home tie-down stake Sept. 23 in Scott City. Police say secrecy was needed so Bowers, who was identified as a suspect early on, didn't know about the investigation.
"We don't want suspects to leave the area or intimidate or endanger our witnesses so it is extraordinarily important not to allow information into the community," Scott City police chief Don Cobb said in a written statement this afternoon.
Two Scott City residents, who say they're familiar with the situation but wish to remain anonymous, said the murder occurred in a trailer park on Crites Street in Scott City.
One anonymous source close to people who live in the trailer where the alleged murder took place said Bowers brought Hagan to the home, and after an altercation inside, Hagan was kicked out. The source said Bowers then followed Hagan outside the mobile home, where the alleged murder occurred. Neither Hagan nor Bowers lived at the home, but they had acquaintances who did, the anonymous source said.
Because Bowers was indicted by a grand jury instead of the more common method of charges by a felony complaint, there is no public record of probable cause that led to the arrest. The grand jury indicts people based on evidence it sees and testimony it hears in closed grand jury proceedings. In felony complaint charges, a prosecutor must submit a probable cause affidavit to a judge that gives an account of events leading up to the crime, and the judge then decides whether there's enough evidence to file charges.