A McDonald County jury convicted Oren Rinehart, 62, November 23 following a two-day trial. Rinehart ran over Matthew Stevens, 19, Neosho (pictured) on September 12, 2014, but did not come forward for two weeks. He claimed he thought he had hit a deer.
When Rinehart came forward, he met with police at the office of his lawyer, Charles Rhoades.
"Based on this interview," according to a Neosho Police Department news release, "Neosho Police have seized a 2001 Ford Escape with extensive front end damage believed to be the vehicle involved in the accident."
The crime was detailed in an earlier Police Department news release:
At 1:13 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, Neosho officers were dispatched to the area of Highway 59 and Malcom Mosby Drive in reference to a male lying in the middle of the highway. When officers arrived they located a Matthew Brooks Stevens (pictured), age 19, lying in the roadway, and he appeared to have been struck by a vehicle. The suspect vehicle had fled the scene. Paramedics arrived on scene and confirmed Mr. Stevens was dead on arrival.
On September 14 an autopsy was performed on Mr. Stevens at Cox South in Springfield, MO. Results indicated Mr. Stevens had obtained injuries resulting from being hit by a vehicle from behind.
Rinehart is free after posting a $10,000 appeal bond- $9,000 surety and $1,000 cash.