The most recent death was the suicide of Winans' alleged accomplice, Matthew Laurin, 20, who hung himself in the Jasper County Jail just one day after pleading guilty to killing Bob and Ellen Sheldon, owners of the Old Cabin Shop in Carthage.
Laurins' death followed the death of Teresa Adkins, Springfield, who testified against Winans at his preliminary hearing. At the time of the murders, Winans was dating Ms. Adkins' daughter, Amanda Adkins, who died under mysterious circumstances, following an overdose of morphine.
Bret Turner, 20, Nixa, was initially charged with distribution of a controlled substance in the case, but was later hit with an additional charge of second degree murder after investigators determined that he stole his mother's prescription and gave it to Miss Adkins.
That charge was apparently dropped after Turner pleaded guilty to the drug charge and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
The Carthage Press reports Assistant Prosecutor Norman Rouse says the deaths will not affect Winans' prosecution:
Rouse said Adkins testimony is preserved and can be used at a trial because the defense had the chance to cross-examine her at the preliminary hearing.The Press posted the press conference held today by Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn to address Laurins' suicide:
Rouse said Laurin, who committed suicide in his jail cell on Wednesday after pleading guilty to the murders on Monday, was never slated to testify against Winans.
“Laurin’s death has changed nothing,” Rouse said. “Her (Adkins’) death has changed nothing. We will proceed with the trial of Darren Winans.”