Judge Assigned for Two Taney Co. Murder Suspects

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Courtesy to MGN Online

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Courtesy to MGN Online

FORSYTH, Mo. —  A new judge is assigned in two court cases stemming from a Branson homicide investigation that began in August of last year.The Missouri Supreme Court has assigned Christian County Associate Circuit Judge Douglas Bacon to preside over the proceedings against Jeremiah Fanning, 37, of Springfield and Melissa Claus, 43, of St. Louis, who are each facing charges of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse.Fanning and Claus are implicated in the death of Wayne Gilley, 54,whose body was found inside a tent in a wooded area near Highway 76 in Branson on August 26th, 2016.Autopsy results show Gilley died of blunt force trauma. At that time, Gilley had no known residency and police worked with some of his family members in Oklahoma to trace his movements in the Branson area.After an extensive investigation, requiring forensics and multiple interviews to develop a timeline relating to the crime, the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against Fanning and Claus three months ago.In a news release issued in May, Branson Police Chief Stan Dobbins stated the charges are the result of a well-managed and thorough investigation. He recognized the Hollister Police Department for bringing Claus into custody.The suspects are jailed in Forsyth on $500,000 bond apiece.(Sam Clanton, Hometowndailynews.com)


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