Charges filed in New Madrid County murder case

Friday, February 19, 2010

NEW MADRID, Mo. -- A Howardville, Mo., man was arraigned Thursday for the shooting death of a 49-year-old woman.

The Sikeston Standard Democrat reported Jann L. Wofford, 54, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the death of Dorothy Virginia Hood. Hood's body was discovered along a fence row adjacent to County Road 501 between New Madrid and Lilbourn Wednesday afternoon.

According to the probable cause statement, Hood was last seen by her daughter at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, leaving in a red Chevrolet Cavalier with Jann Wofford.

After the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department received information that Jann Wofford was at a relative's house in Parma, Sheriff Terry Stevens stated a deputy contacted the relative.

The man told officers that Wofford had contacted him about bringing his car to his garage to have the seats, carpet and window replaced. Wofford arrived at the shop in a red Chevrolet Cavalier.

The relative "stated when he removed the carpet and seats from the vehicle, he noted what appeared to be blood," according to the probable cause statement. "Also (he) removed two expended bullets from the inside of the vehicle."

Officers recovered the interior pieces which were removed along with the expended bullets and a shop vacuum containing glass from the garage, Stevens stated.

On Wednesday Wofford was interviewed by officers.

According to the probable cause statement, Wofford stated he was driving the car and the victim was in the passenger seat. He stated they had purchased crack-cocaine several times, but Hood became upset when he said they would not purchase any more and she pulled a gun from between the seats.

The couple struggled over the gun and it fired. "Jann Wofford stated he gained control of the gun and the gun went off a couple of more times," Stevens wrote in the probable cause statement. "Jann Wofford stated that he knew the passenger window had been shot out, but did not know Dorothy had been shot until he saw her slumped over in the seat."

Wofford told officers he panicked and drove to the rural road, removing the woman from the passenger seat and dragging the body into the ditch.

Wofford is currently being held in the New Madrid County Jail with his bond set at $1 million. He is to return to court on March 11.

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