Region digest 12/21/02

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Four facing charges in water park burglary

POLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Four Poplar Bluff men face burglary charges after they allegedly broke into a building at the new water park on the south end early Friday.

Butler County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Barbour charged Jeffrey Leroy Christensen, Aaron Joseph Desrochers, Douglas Christopher Edwards and Bennie David Brown with second-degree burglary. Bond was recommended at $10,000.

According to Poplar Bluff Police, Cpl. Mike McClain's was on patrol on Cheshire Boulevard at about 1:15 a.m. when he saw a car backed up to the front door of the Bluff Falls water park. The car drove away, and McClain pulled it over for a traffic stop.

Police found a blowtorch, a propane tank and leaf blower in the trunk of the car. The property owner, Rick Cheshire, was called to the scene and identified the items as his.

Poplar Bluff man to serve 12 years for sodomy

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- In a brief court appearance Friday morning, a Poplar Bluff man was sentenced to two 12-year prison terms for sodomizing two girls.

Tommy Eugene Younger, 42, pleaded guilty in October to two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy before Associate Circuit Judge Stephen Mitchell of Stoddard County. Younger admitted he had intercourse with the victims, who were younger than 12, between Aug. 28, 2000, and July 2001.

Butler County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Barbour had recommended the 12-year terms, with those sentences to run concurrently.

Prosecutor resigns amid sex allegations

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A rural Missouri prosecutor resigned Friday, one week after the state attorney general sought his ouster for allegedly using his office telephone to solicit sex in return for legal services.

In a letter to Gov. Bob Holden, Morgan County prosecutor Stephen Concannon said his resignation was not an admission of guilt.

"My resignation is, however, a recognition that the office has become distracted" from its purpose, Concannon said in the letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Attorney General Jay Nixon had sought to remove Concannon, a fellow Democrat, on claims he violated a state law by patronizing prostitution and by using county resources to make the solicitation. Concannon had until Friday to respond to Nixon's petition to force him from office.

Concannon, 32, a first-term prosecutor, has been charged in Livingston County with soliciting prostitution, driving without a vehicle registration and failing to provide proof of car insurance.

Concannon would have been out of office anyway in January. He lost to Republican Marvin Opie in a November re-election.

Authorities investigate prison strangulation

CAMERON, Mo. -- An inmate serving time for murder at the maximum-security prison here is a suspect in the strangling of his cellmate, Cameron police said Friday.

Stanley Hoelscher, 47, was found unresponsive on the floor of his cell at Crossroads Correctional Center Wednesday morning as corrections officers were conducting a routine count of inmates. Prison medical staff and paramedics were unable to revive him, prison superintendent Mike Kemna said.

Hoelscher's cellmate has been named as a suspect and placed in a cell by himself, Cameron police chief Hal Riddle said. The two inmates were alone the cell when Hoelscher was found, and there were reports that the two had argued that morning, Riddle said.

-- From wire reports

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