Winans' alleged partner in the murders of Bob and Ellen Sheldon of Carthage, Matthew Laurin, 20, Springfield, pleaded guilty Monday and was given two consecutive life sentences. Winans, 23, Jasper, is scheduled to go to trial in 2011.
The death of Teresa Adkins, Springfield, removes the only witness, other than Laurin who could say that Winans committed the murders:
Teresa Adkins told the court at Winans’ preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin that her 16-year-old daughter, Amanda Adkins, who dated Winans for a few months about the time of the slayings last year, was the first to let her know.
Amanda later brought Winans to her mother to tell her in person, Teresa Adkins testified.
“I think she made him tell me, I’m pretty sure,” Adkins said of her daughter who died earlier this year of a drug overdose.
She said the conversation with Winans took place close to Christmas at her home in Springfield. She said that Winans told her that he and Laurin had “killed two people and their dog. For drugs.”