Prosecutor expected to seek death penalty in Stoddard County murder case

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Allen McCoy

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- Notices to seek the death penalty are expected to be filed in Stoddard County this week against a Bernie, Mo., couple accused of brutally stabbing another man to death, the Daily American Republic reported.

Allen McCoy, aka "Smurf," along with his 38-year-old wife, Angela McCoy, are charged with the Class A felonies of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery and two unclassified felonies of armed criminal action.

The McCoys are charged in connection with Aubury Lee Finch's death on Aug. 28.

Angela McCoy

Finch, 67, was found dead inside his Bernie home after authorities received information from witnesses indicating Allen McCoy had told them he had stabbed the man several times, as well as robbed him.

"Based on the brutality of the act, (the fact) it occurred during the commission of the crime of robbery, and also after having reviewed the autopsy (which indicated) the nature and extent of (Finch's) wounds, the death penalty is called for in this case," said Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Briney Welborn, who expects to file the notices and aggravating circumstances this week.

Having just received the autopsy report, Welborn filed a motion with the court requesting the McCoys' preliminary hearings be postponed.

The McCoys are supposed to appear at 1 p.m. Thursday before Associate Circuit Judge Joe Satterfield for preliminary hearings.

Although Dr. Russell Deidiker at Mineral Area Regional Medical Center in Farmington, Mo., performed an autopsy on Finch Aug. 30, his report only was received by Stoddard County authorities on Tuesday.

"Due to funding, getting autopsy results, crime lab results, almost anything, has become a nightmare," Welborn said. " ... Every prosecutor would like to move things along quicker, but we're stuck by the things going on."

In his motion to continue, Welborn said, he needed time to review the autopsy report, which was filed Tuesday with the court, as well as check on the availability of the pathologist for the hearing(s).

Welborn said he wants to make sure of when Deidiker is available, as well as go over the report for "testimonial purposes" even though the cause of death is "pretty clear."

Deidiker's report indicates Finch was stabbed at least 12 times, including 10 in the head and neck and two to the left back.

Finch "died as a result of multiple stab wounds of the head and neck," Deidiker wrote in the report's conclusion. "There were multiple stab wounds, predominantly to the back of the head and neck.

"One stab wound to the posterior right neck incised (cut) the right cerebral artery, while a stab wound to the right lateral neck incised the right external jugular vein."

There also was what Deidiker described as superficial "undermining incised wound of the right index finger, which is consistent with a defense wound."

Some of the stab wounds, according to Deidiker, showed a blunt edge, indicating a single-edged blade was used for at least some of the stab wounds.

Finch, Deidiker said, also had an abrasion directly above his left eyebrow and a brown contusion on his cheek below his left eye.

Toxicology results were negative for any alcohol or controlled substances in Finch's blood.

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