Another one of Dee Wampler's clients escaped prison time, but the renowned Springfield defense attorney didn't have anything to do with it.
U. S. Attorney Todd Graves filed documents with the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri saying prison wouldn't be required for Winston Eugene Holt since Holt had died since entering a guilty plea in May to an arson charge.
Holt, 63, had been charged with the crime in connection with the attempted murder of a Lamar man over a child custody dispute. Holt had agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a 10-year sentence.
The same agreement had been reached with another defendant in the case, Arvon Swanberg, 67, Lamar, who entered his guilty plea during a 13-minute hearing in May in U. S. District Court in Springfield. Swanberg will also have to pay $3,415 in restitution after he is released from prison, and when he is released he will be on probation for two years, according to court documents.
The crime was laid out by Assistant U. S. Attorney Richard Monroe in the plea agreement with Holt, which was filed May 23. "In 2000, Arvon M. Swanberg, Karen Cross Swanberg, and Winston Eugene Holt had discussions and agreed to kill Karen Cross Swanberg's former husband, Landon Hackler, by means of a bomb. Arvon M. Swanberg acquired materials to make a pipe bomb (from a Hobby Lobby store) and learned from Winston Eugene Holt how to wire it to a truck so that it would explode. Swanberg assisted Holt in the construction of the pipe bomb. Sometime prior to Oct. 28, 2000, Swanberg placed the pipe bomb under the truck of Landon Hackler at Hackler's place of employment in Barton County.
"The bomb detonated in Lamar later that same day, the court filing said. It didn't work properly so Hackler was not killed, but he suffered a back injury and loss of hearing, and his truck was extensively damaged.Swanberg and Holt were given up by Mrs. Swanberg, according to a news release issued by U. S. Attorney Todd Graves on March 3. Mrs. Swanberg kidnapped the child who was at the center of the custody dispute, according to the news release, and fled the state. She was arrested in Florida, waived extradition and was returned to Barton County, where she gave authorities the information that led to the filing of the federal complaint on March 26, 2004.