Three men have been charged in connection with a Feb. 1 homicide at a Springfield mobile home park.
Dustin Stacey, 28, Shane Stamm, 27, and Jerry Earls Jr., 34, were charged last week with felony murder and four other felonies in connection with the killing of 38-year-old Kenneth Clark.
Police said Tuesday that Earls and Stacey are in custody, and a warrant has been issued for Stamm’s arrest.
In court documents, prosecutors described the killing as a “retaliatory home invasion most likely linked to a dispute over enforcement of drug debts or competing drug distribution networks.”
According to a probable cause statement in the case, witnesses told police three men forced their way into a mobile home in the 2300 block of Springlane Street on the afternoon of Feb. 1 and shot Clark to death after saying something to the effect of “we don’t like what you did this morning.”
The statement says one of the suspects also pistol-whipped a witness after the shooting.
The suspects fled the scene before officers arrived.
Lt. Robert Byrne with the Springfield Police Department said one man was shot to death Thursday afternoon.
The statement says Springfield police later determined that Clark and Stacey had an altercation in the parking lot of the Walmart on North Kansas Expressway hours before the shooting.
A witness told police Clark rammed Stacey’s vehicle several times and then chased Stacey southbound for a few blocks, according to the statement.
The motivation for Clark’s actions, one witness allegedly told police, is that Stacey had ripped off Clark in a deal.
After the altercation at Walmart, Clark and Stacey then exchanged several text messages throughout the day, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Clark was also texting a witness identified in court documents as Citizen 4. The statement says Clark texted Citizen 4 that “417 is threatening to be here again” and then “There here” about 5 minutes before the 911 call.
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Another witness, Citizen 5, allegedly told police she saw Stacey, Stamm and Earls together at about noon on the day of the homicide.
The witness then met up with Stamm and Earls at 3 p.m. and the men were “freaking out,” according to the statement.
Citizen 5 told police she drove Earls and Stramm around while they threw a hat, bullets and syringes out of the car window, according to the statement.
Citizen 5’s vehicle, which Earls later stole, was involved in a crash the next day in Lawrence County and authorities found a revolver and a Chewbacca mask inside, according to the statement.
In addition to the felony murder charges, the suspects have also been charged with accessory to armed criminal action, accessory to first-degree burglary, accessory to assault and accessory to unlawful possession of a firearm.
To convict someone of felony murder, prosecutors must show that the defendant committed a felony and someone died as a result. It carries a possible life sentence.
The probable cause statement does not name any of the witnesses. A search warrant in the case says that Stacey Herman, the mother of slain 10-year-old Hailey Owens, was Clark’s girlfriend and witnessed the homicide.
The suspects do not have attorneys listed for this case.
The cases were hidden from public view for about a week due to a request from prosecutors.
A search warrant filed in this case says authorities found suspected drugs inside the home on Springlane Street after the homicide.
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