Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Driver who killed Terry and Rhonda Copple while high on meth pleads guilty

A 1:30 p.m. July 25 sentencing is scheduled for Rita Michelle Glasgow, 31, Carthage, who pleaded guilty to felony driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance during a hearing this morning in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Glasgow was high on meth and behind the wheel of a stolen GMC Sierra January 4, 2021, when she drove through the busy intersection at 28th Street and Connecticut Avenue and plowed into an SUV killing Terry and Rhonda Copple of Joplin.

In exchange for her plea, the Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney's office dismissed a felony tampering with a motor vehicle charge.

Judge Gayle Crane ordered a pre-sentencing investigation.

Glasgow is being held without bond in the Jasper County Jail, which also is holding her on a federal meth trafficking charge. Glasgow was one of four people indicted by a federal grand jury in 2021.

The actions that led to the death of the Copples were described in the probable cause statement written by Joplin Police Department officer Mackenzie Roach:

I made contact with Ms. Glasgow at Freeman Hospital. I noticed that her pupils were constricted with eyelid tremors.

Ms. Glasgow appeared to very excited, as well as Ms. Glasgow continually fidgeted with her fingers and had uncontrollable body tremors which is common with methamphetamine use.

Ms. Glasgow's heart rate and body temperature were elevated according to methamphetamine use.
Ms. Glasgow's heart rate and body temperature were elevated according to medical staff on scene.

Ms. Glasgow admitted that she consumed methamphetamine and Klonopin prior to operating her vehicle. Medical staff located a bag of suspected methamphetamine in Ms. Glasgow's bra and placed it on top of Ms. Glasgow's purse. I observed a clear baggie with 3.7 grams with packaging of a white clear crystal substance on top of Ms. Glasgow's purse. During a probable cause search of Ms. Glasgow's purse, I located a black box. In the black box, I located a loaded syringe with a clear substance, a clear baggie with 0.4 grams with packaging of a white clear crystal substance and multiple other items of drug paraphernalia

While I was at the hospital, I was notified that the white GMC Sierra was being reported as stolen to the Duquesne Police Department and that the owner of the vehicle, Ervin Whitt, was wanting to pursue charges.

While on scene at the hospital, I was notified by Colonel Swann that the passenger of the Ford SUV had been pronounced deceased at the scene. The passenger was identified as Rhonda Copple.

While still on scene at the hospital, medical staff advised that the driver of the SUV who had been identified as Terry Copple had been pronounced deceased due to the injuries he had sustained during the vehicle crash.

I read Ms. Glasgow implied consent asking for a blood sample. Ms. Glasgow admitted that methamphetamine would show up in her blood.

The biggest question remaining is why Glasgow was not already behind bars January 4, 2021.

Her extensive record of breaking the law and not being punished for it was detailed in the January 4, 2021 Turner Report:

(Glasgow) was already facing two meth trafficking charges in Newton County with both arrests coming following vehicle pursuits by law enforcement, one in March 2020, the other in September 2019.

The 2019 arrest came after Newton County deputies determined Glasgow was driving with expired plates and tried to pull her over. She fled, eventually crashing her vehicle on McClelland Boulevard.

The probable cause statement indicated Glasgow had two rocks of methamphetamine, two bags of marijuana, three syringes and a drug pipe.

Even while Glasgow awaited trial on the first drug trafficking charge, she was given a break in Jasper County October 10, 2019, when Judge Gayle Crane approved a plea bargain agreement with the Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney's office and gave Glasgow a suspended sentence on a felony meth possession charge. The deal included dismissing driving while suspended and drug paraphernalia charges.

The meth possession case occurred as a result of an October 6, 2017 incident in a convenience store parking lot at 2115 Connecticut Avenue, Joplin, where she was asleep in her car for more than a hour.

A search of her purse turned up 28 bags of methamphetamine, according to the probable cause statement.

Two months later, the Joplin Police Department arrested Glasgow for felony tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree.

Judge Joseph Hensley set bond at $150 after Glasgow failed to appear at a January 15, 2020 hearing.

After that, court hearings were delayed due to the pandemic. Her next hearing was scheduled for May 20.

Glasgow failed to show.

Hensley issued a warrant and again set her bond at $150.

Glasgow was finally arraigned June 25 on the tampering charge. The hearing was held three months after Newton County authorities arrested Glasgow on a second meth trafficking charge, which occurred after a pursuit that began in Cherokee County, Kansas, and ended on MO 86 in Newton County.

Despite the second drug trafficking arrest and Glasgow's propensity for not showing for court hearings, Judge Hensley again allowed her to remain free while awaiting trial.

Glasgow's next court appearance was scheduled for July 29. Glasgow was a no-show and Hensley issued a warrant and set bond at $10,000.

Glasgow's next hearing was September 10. She wasn't there. The judge ordered her bond forfeited.

Online court records indicate Glasgow has not appeared at a Jasper County court hearing since June 25.

Not that things were much better in Newton County.

After Glasgow's second arrest on meth trafficking charges, Judge Anna Christine Rhoades released her on her own recognizance on January 3, 2020, one year to the day before Glasgow allegedly drove drunk and killed Terry and Rhonda Copple.

Online court records show Glasgow has a clear pattern of drug arrests dating back to age 17.

During a February hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court, Judge Dean Dankelson sentenced Glasgow to seven years in prison after she pleaded guilty to the October 2017 meth possession charge. She was credited with the time she has served since she killed the Copples.


Anonymous said...

It’s very obvious that voters need to remember these names and situations when elections happen. As a one of the unlucky ones who got to see the aftermath, this person needs to be behind bars for the rest of her life.

Anonymous said...

The Judges and Prosecuting Attorneys of Jasper and Newton County - NEED TO STOP BEING SOFT ON CRIMINALS - - A Family is know Dead because these Judges and Prosecuting Attorneys - DID NOT DO THEIR JOB - - THEY NEED TO TAKE PART OF THE BLAME - - - For this Families Death - - Had they done their Job to Uphold the Law and Serve the People - - this Couple would be Alive Today - -


Anonymous said...

I believe we should put billboards up that show how they have handled repeat offenders, especially drug offenders that steal from tax paying citizens and never get any compensation for there loss, because you can’t garnish the wages of a catalytic converter thief….

Anonymous said...

I believe we should put billboards up that show how Republicans have refused to fund drug treatemant progras that are proven to actually work.

They'd rather pledge their obediance to their cult of tax cuts.

Grover Norquist the favorite of the fatcats reportedly once said this:

My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.

Anonymous said...

It is easy to forget unless it is one of our own.

Anonymous said...

The Government - Cannot be a Fix All for Everything / The Government Just Cannot Continue to Print Money - - People have to be Responsible for Themselves - - If you Won't Work - Should the Government - Keep Giving People Money, If you Have A Drug / Gambling / Alcoholic / Problem
- Should Tax Payers Keep Paying your Tab - - NO!!! Learn Self-Control - Take Control of Your Own Life - - Make People Responsible for Doing the Right Thing - - Whether it is a Judge / Prosecuting Attorney / Drug Addicted Individual /


Anonymous said...

Grammar challenged Caplock abuser in the house!

Anonymous said...

To Answer the Previous - Anonymous Poster - 7:22 PM - - Yes, I am Very Passionate Individual - When it Comes to Individuals taking Responsibility for their Own Lives, especially if it impacts the Lives of Others and their Families - and When the Government Spends Money - that they did not have to Work For or do Anything for and then Turns around and Spends it on Programs / Individuals - that do not Want to Help Themselves -

Everyone at sometime or another in their Life will need a Hand Out or Helping Hand - Yet we have to have a way for them to get off the Rolls - - or Stop a Generational Life Style - their are Jobs out there - So if the Previous Poster is so Incensed about Grammar - then they need to look around and see what is Truly going on in the United States - - But of Course Anonymous 7:22 PM - Probably does not have a Job, Pay Taxes, Spends All Day Texting, or is Unaware of the Crimes being Committed, and how that affects their Community, because they are to Busy Trying to Correct and Say Petty Things - because of their Lack of Knowledge, Understanding, and / or Education!!! HOW ABOUT THAT ANONYMOUS - 7:22PM - -

Anonymous said...

I guess us republicans don’t like finding things that don’t work. The only way a person stops doing drugs drinking etc is if the want to. You can have all the programs, policy etc to help but if they don’t want to it does no good I personally know repeat offenders, they know how to play the system, they know one of the tricks is to be a nonviolent offender, blame it on the drugs instead of the drug user get a slap on the wrist…
We cant rely on the government to fix problems, I mean look at our infrastructure that is in dire need.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Amen