Monday, June 17, 2024

More charges may be filed against Duenweg man charged with sex crimes against children

A Duenweg man being held in the Jasper County Jail on $200,000 bond on two counts of sodomy and  a single count of furnishing pornographic material to a minor, may face additional charges.

According to the probable cause statement filed last week in Jasper County Circuit Court, David Arnhart, 36, allegedly provided meth, oxycodone and marijuana to a 17-year-old girl in exchange for sex.

The Jasper County Sheriff's Office issued the following news release today:

On June 6, 2024 Jasper County Detectives served a search warrant at a home north of Duenweg as part of an investigation for crimes against children. During the service of the search warrant 36-year old David Arnhart of Duenweg was transported to Sheriff’s Office and interviewed by Detectives. After completing the interview.

Arnhart was arrested and charges submitted to the Jasper County Prosecutor.

On June 7, 2024 charges against Arnhart were filed for 2 counts Sodomy and Furnishing Pornographic Materials to a Minor. Arnhart is being held on a bond of $100,000 surety and $100,000 cash.

This investigation is still ongoing; additional charges may be submitted at the completion of this investigation.

Sarcoxie Mayor: We're closing the fire department

In a message posted on the City of Sarcoxie's Facebook page today, Mayor Debbie Royce announced that the Sarcoxie Fire Department is being shut down temporarily.

Royce said the department is in disarray and most of the equipment is "either out of date or unusable."

The message is printed below:

Dear Fellow Citizens:

Since taking office as Mayor, the city fire department has been in disarray. Not only is there an inadequate number of volunteers, but most of the equipment is either out of date or unusable. After many discussions and with concern for the safety of our firefighters, the Aldermen and I have decided to close the city fire department temporarily.

We have applied for grants to buy the equipment needed and we are looking for others. We are hoping that we will be able to have the monies to replace the equipment in six (6) months. At that time, we will be looking for twenty (20) able-bodied men and women who will be willing to serve the fire department as volunteers.

In the meantime, the Sarcoxie Rural Fire Department has agreed to cover our city for fire and medical calls.

Debbie Royce

Hawley introduces resolution honoring Natalie and Davy Lloyd

(From Sen. Josh Hawley)

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced a resolution honoring the lives and service of Natalie and Davy Lloyd. The Missouri missionaries were tragically killed last month by gangs while serving in Haiti. The resolution recognizes Natalie and Davy’s efforts in serving the local community in Haiti and honors the incredible legacy the young couple leaves behind.

“All of Missouri mourns the loss of Natalie and Davy Lloyd. They had servants’ hearts, were exceptional missionaries, and great Americans,” said Senator Hawley. “They selflessly dedicated their lives to serving the Lord and others, and the U.S. Senate honors their legacy.”


Last month, Senator Hawley urged President Biden to mobilize all resources at his disposal to protect the transport of the remains of Natalie and Davy Lloyd as they traveled back home to Missouri from Haiti. Senator Hawley worked closely with the State Department since he first learned the Lloyds were in danger. First, to try and provide assistance prior to their death, and then, to bring the Lloyds back home to Missouri.

Read the full resolution here.

Stark City man charged with sexual abuse of wife's friend

The Newton County Prosecuting Attorney's office filed a felony sexual abuse charge today against a Stark City man who allegedly tried to force himself on his wife's friend Sunday.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Bradley W. Willett (DOB 1993) with bond set at $1,000 cash only.

From the probable cause statement:

I contacted Victim #1 via phone who advised she was dropping off her children at a friend's house so she could take one of her children to the doctor. Victim #1 advised her friend's husband who she identified as Bradley Willet approached her and grabbed her leg then her buttock. 

Victim #1 advised that Bradley then reached between her legs and grabbed her vagina. Victim #1 advised she left and planned to return to pick up her children when her husband got off work. {She said} she had to return without her husband and Bradley again approached her upon arrival and began touching her.

Victim #1 advised that Bradley grabbed her vagina and stated "I need to f--- you.". {She said}she put her children in her vehicle and left. {She} advised that she received a message from Bradley requesting to know what time he could contact her tomorrow for a nude picture. 

Victim #1 advised that neither of these incidents were consensual and she tried to get away from him both times. 

I contacted Bradley who admitted to touching Victim #l's leg and buttock but denied touching her vagina. Bradley advised he was flirting with her but may have taken it too far.

Rex Sinquefield drops big donations into GOP governor, AG primaries

By Rudi Keller

Missouri’s most prolific political donor dropped another $1 million into the campaign of his preferred candidate for governor last week, bringing the total he’s spent during the 2024 election cycle to almost $3 million.

Retired investor Rex Sinquefield has given more than $45 million in contributions since he became a significant donor around 2006 mostly to Republicans, though not exclusively.

His donations last week included $1 million to American Dream PAC, which supports the gubernatorial campaign of Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, and $250,000 to Liberty and Justice PAC, which supports Attorney General Andrew Bailey.

Sinquefield has donated roughly a third of all money received by American Dream PAC since the beginning of 2023.

American Dream PAC, which can raise money alongside Kehoe but must spend its funds independently of his official campaign, is already the richest in the race for governor. It reported $4.5 million on hand on March 31, more than double the amount in the PAC backing Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and four times the funding available for BILL PAC, which is supporting state Sen. Bill Eigel.

The Sinquefield checks, one for $250,000 and another for $750,000, were reported Thursday to the Missouri Ethics Commission. Other large donors have given Kehoe’s PAC $182,674 since the last full report was filed.

The commission requires contributions of more than $5,000 to be reported within 48 hours of receipt.

Ashcroft’s spokesman, Jason Roe, said Kehoe “has been bankrolled by the Jefferson City lobbyists and special interest groups because they know what they are going to get — a transactional big government governor. He has the endorsement of nearly every special interest group in the state because they know he will raise taxes, they know he will increase spending and they know they will be the beneficiaries.”

Ashcroft’s PAC, Committee for Liberty, has raised $155,661 in large donations since March 31. The largest, $50,000, was from his mother, former First Lady Janet Ashcroft. With those reports, it has reported raising just under $1 million since the beginning of 2023.

The committee reported $1.9 million on hand on March 31.

Sophia Shore, Eigel’s campaign manager, said Kehoe “is no doubt the establishment donors choice; he has enough money to burn a wet mule.”

Eigel’s joint fundraising committee, BILL PAC, has received only one donation greater than $5,000 since March 31 — $10,000 from Joan Langenberg of St. Louis on May 6. The PAC has raised $2 million since Jan. 1, 2023.

Sinquefield has a long history of cutting massive checks for his preferred candidates. He has often focused his efforts on cutting income taxes and changes to the state’s education system.

In 2016, he bankrolled a slate of candidates in GOP statewide primaries, spending nearly $11 million supporting candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer.

Of the candidates he supported, only one prevailed.

In September 2020, Sinquefield parted ways with his longtime advisors, Pelopidas, owned by Travis Brown. He made no political contributions until late 2021, and since the beginning of 2022 has made $4.3 million donations, including $1.7 million reported since Jan. 1.

Pelopidas closed its doors after Sinquefield withdrew his backing. In 2021, a Missouri appeals court ordered Brown and the firm to pay $7.5 million to Rachel Keller, Brown’s former wife and business partner, in a case filed in 2016, two years after the couple.

Both Eigel and Ashcroft have received donations from Sinquefield, but not since he fired Pelopidas as his consulting firm.

As a candidate for state Senate in 2014, Ashcroft received a donation of $25,000 from Sinquefield. In 2020, when he sought re-election as secretary of state, Sinquefield contributed $2,650.

There were no limits on contributions directly to candidate committees in 2014. Those limits were imposed by a constitutional amendment and for this year’s elections, the limit for statewide candidates is $2,825.

BILL PAC received $225,000 from Sinquefield in 2019 and 2020, when Eigel sought re-election to the state Senate.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Eric Burlison: Holding Merrick Garland in contempt

(From Seventh District Congressman Eric Burlison)

On Wednesday, the House voted to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress.

In February, the Oversight Committee issued a subpoena for relevant information regarding Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified material after documents were discovered in Biden’s home and office in 2022. The information subpoenaed included the transcript and any recordings of Hur’s interview with Biden in October of 2023.


The Department of Justice (DOJ) did produce the written transcript of the interview but is refusing to hand over the audio recordings. Biden even asserted executive privilege over the recordings, which is bizarre given the transcripts have already been released.

These recordings are vital to our investigation. Our committee needs to be able to hear the verbal cues and subtleties in Biden’s answers to assess whether he was being coached or guarded. 

The White House also has a track record of editing Biden’s mistakes by labeling them “inaudible” in transcripts, only furthering our committee’s obligation to assess the transcripts for ourselves to ensure it reflects the true content of the interviews.

Attorney General Garland’s refusal to comply with our congressional subpoena is obstructing our investigation and is in violation of the law.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Nancy Hughes: The ultimate do-over

  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”

II Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

I love a “do-over.” Just that phrase itself promises the opportunity of a fresh start. For example, if I hit a bad note while singing in a music contest, I would love a “do-over” to try to sway the judges to give me a good score.

And, heaven forbid, if I accidentally ran over the neighbor’s cat, wouldn’t a “do-over” be wonderful, especially for the cat?

Consider if my hairdresser gave me a new haircut that I thought would look great but didn’t. A “do-over” on my new “do” could restore everything as it was before my poor decision.

And, my goodness, what about my golf game? Through the years I have given myself countless near-hernias because I have swung (with proper form) and missed the ball at least a thousand times. A “do-over” would give me one more chance to hit the ball and avoid a hernia in the process. Who wouldn’t love the idea of a “do-over”?

Astonishingly, our Father has given us a one-of-a-kind “do-over” in the precious gift of Jesus. As Paul writes in II Corinthians 5:17, when we accept Christ, we become a new creation. Forget the old person that we were with all our mistakes and near hits and misses. Bury the old self that just could not quite hit the note or the ball or, Lord have mercy, miss the cat!

The difference between our “do-over” and our Father’s is that even though we try and try to get it right, we are never going to do everything perfectly. All the “do-overs” in the world will not make us without sin. Jesus, once and for all, became the “do-over” in our place.

No matter what your heart looks like, we all have the opportunity to start over because of Christ and to allow the forgiveness and mercy only He can give to replace the old with the new forever.

Do I wish that I could have one more try at hitting that note more clearly or knocking the golf ball yards away or turning left instead of right when I saw the cat? Sure I do. I would love one more “do-over.” But may I never forget that the Ultimate Do Over is Jesus.

Father, thank you for Jesus, for allowing Him to die for me, for allowing Him to take my place. How excited I am to be a new creation in you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Is there anything in your life that you want to “do-over” and make more presentable before you turn it over to the Lord?

Why are you hesitating to allow Him to replace all the old with His forgiveness and mercy?


Memorize the power verses for today’s devotion.

Any time that you feel the need to “do-over” before coming before the Lord, speak each power verse to your heart.


II Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”

Galatians 2:20 (NIV) “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

I John 1:9 (NIV) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purity us from all unrighteousness.”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)

Arraignment set for Joplin man charged with meth possession, attempted bribery of a police officer

A Joplin man who allegedly told a Joplin Police Department officer "you can have all the money in my pockets if you uncuff me and let me go," is being arraigned Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court on felony charges of possession of methamphetamine and attempted bribery of a public servant.

Justin Lee Spencer (DOB 1989) was bound over for trial after waiving his preliminary hearing May 22.

According to the probable cause statement, a Joplin police officer recognized Spencer and arrested him on outstanding warrants. 

After Spencer's alleged bribery attempt, his backpack was searched and methamphetamine was found, the probable cause statement said.

Friday, June 14, 2024

$1 million bond set for Carthage man charged with violent murder of his wife in Miami County, Kansas

A $1 million dollar bond has been set for Gavino McJunkins-Macias, 23, Carthage, by Miami County, Kansas authorities who have charged him with murdering his wife.

Carthage Police Department discovered the body of Kenia Lopez, 24, Carthage, in an abandoned camper at 600 Main Street.

Charges of abandonment of a corpse and fugitive from out of state were filed in Jasper County Circuit Court today.

The discovery of Kenia Lopez was detailed in the probable cause statement for abandonment of a corpse.

At approximately 0750 hours a white 2009 Chevy Silverado bearing Missouri License Plate 31H4JX can be observed on video surveillance footage obtained from the 400 block of North Main Street. 

The Chevy Silverado turns from Central Avenue and begins traveling north on North Main Street. The Chevy Silverado is towing a black/grey in color JAYCO camper. At approximately 0815 hours the Chevy Silverado leaves the area of 600 North Main Street without the camper in tow. 

At approximately 1135 hours Jasper County Emergency Dispatch Center received a 911 phone call from MACIAS stating he called to report the deceased body of his wife at 600 North Main Street Carthage, MO in a camper.


The decedent was located in a black/grey in color JAYCO camper. During a subsequent interview with MACIAS, he acknowledged that the camper in question was his. He brought the camper to Carthage around 0700 hours with the decedent in the camper, knowing she was deceased. He left the decedent in the camper for approximately three and a half hours while he met with his family and handled other business without first notifying the proper authorities.

The probable cause statement includes a description of the murder as "violent."

The Miami County, Kansas arrest warrant was issued at 12:35 p.m. today.

Joplin woman charged with stealing more than $700,000 from elderly blind woman

The Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney's office filed a felony financial exploitation of the elderly/disabled against a Joplin woman who allegedly stole at least $716,981.55 from an elderly blind Jasper County woman over an 8-year period.

The charges were filed following an investigation by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

From the probable cause statement:

Over a period of approximately 8 years, Tripp convinced Victim#l (by means of deceit) to allow Tripp to create a Power of Attorney document. Victim #1 recalled the creation of this document, but stated she was not fully-apprised of its contents. 

Tammy Tripp fraudulently persuaded Community Bank and Trust to permit her to use a rubber stamp containing the cursive name of Victim #1, for purposes of cashing and endorsing checks. Victim #1 has participated in audio and video recorded statements, confirming that she did not authorize the creation or use of said rubber stamp. A copy of Victim #l's signature is on file, and that signature in no way resembles that on the rubber stamp. 

Tammy Tripp convinced Victim #l, by means of fraud or deceit, to allow her access to Victim #l's Morgan Stanley Investments account "to keep her money safe." 

Once this access was in place, Tammy Tripp proceeded to extract funds in excess of $6000 per month from Victim #l's account. These funds were direct deposited into Victim #l's Community Bank and Trust account, and immediately withdrawn by Tammy Tripp, using the rubber stamp. 

Tammy Tripp utilized Victim #l's ATM card to withdraw funds from her account. When family members deduced the financial abuse was in progress, Tammy Tripp used the Power of Attorney document to remove Victim #1 from a long term care facility and abscond with her to a camper park on Monkey Island, Oklahoma. 

When it became known that Tammy Tripp and her spouse were being pursued by authorities, Victim #1 was dropped off at another long term care facility in Jasper County, where Tammy Trip used the Power of Attorney document to affect her admission to the facility. 

A member of the staff of the long term care facility personally heard Tammy Tripp tell Victim #1 not to mention the money, "Or Tammy Tripp and her spouse would go to jail". 

To date, the Office of Special Investigations has documented approximately $716,981.55 extracted from Victim #1 by Tammy Tripp. This includes a bank money order from Community Bank and Trust, used by Tammy Tripp's daughter to purchase a residence in Joplin, for the amount of $93,005.55. 

Victim #1 has repeatedly-affirmed that she did not giver permission for her money to be used for this purchase.