Malden man will be facing death penalty
KENNETT -- A Malden, Mo., man's preliminary hearing was postponed last week after the state filed the necessary paperwork declaring its intentions to seek the death penalty in his case.
Floyd Mantel Young Jr., 22, was supposed to appear Friday morning before Associate Circuit Judge Joe Satterfield for a preliminary hearing on the Class A felony of first-degree murder or in the alternative the Class A felony of second-degree murder, the Class B felony of attempted first-degree robbery, two unclassified felonies of armed criminal action and the Class D felony of unlawful use of a weapon.
Young is accused of causing the death of Dustin Greer of Bloomfield, Mo., by shooting him.
The 28-year-old died July 21 at a Cape Girardeau, Mo., hospital after he was taken off life support.
Greer died of injuries he suffered when he was shot in the head three days earlier while seated in his SUV.
On Tuesday, Dunklin County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jonce Chidister filed a notice of statutory aggravating circumstances with the court.
The filing reportedly puts the defense on notice of what aggravating circumstances the state intends to rely on at trial.
The aggravating circumstances Chidister cited are:
* The murder in the first degree was committed while Young was engaged in the perpetration of the felony of robbery;
* The murder in the first degree was committed while Young was engaged in the perpetration or was aiding or encouraging another person to perpetrate or attempt to perpetrate a felony; and
* The murder in the first degree was committed for the purpose of receiving money or any other thing of monetary value from the victim.
The charges against Young stem from when Malden police officers began an assault investigation at about 3:20 a.m. July 18, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Stoelting's probable-cause statement.
"When officers arrived at the rear of 405 N. Edward St., they observed a male, later identified as Dustin Greer, sitting in the driver' seat of a white Chevrolet Tahoe," Stoelting said. "Greer had an obvious gunshot wound to the front, left side of his head."
Stoelting said the officers also noticed what appeared to be a bullet hole in the front, left fender of the SUV.
As Greer was taken to the hospital for treatment, Malden and highway patrol officers reportedly processed the scene and interviewed witnesses.
Stoelting said a witness identified Young as the alleged shooter.
"The witness told investigators he saw Young point the gun inside the vehicle, and as the vehicle accelerated, he heard the gun go off," Stoelting said. "Prior to this shooting incident, the same witness observed Young with a pistol."
During a follow-up interview, Stoelting said, the witness further told officers he was inside the SUV when Greer was shot.
"This witness said ...Floyd pointed a gun inside and told Greer: 'Give me your -- -- money,'" Stoelting said. "This witness said Greer was holding $20 in his right hand and had his left hand on the steering wheel."
Greer, according to the witness' statement, grabbed the gun Young was holding, and "they began struggling over the gun."
"The witness said the gun went off a couple of times and (Greer) then began driving away."
Stoelting said the witness reported hearing at least two or three more shots as the SUV "was rolling toward" a carport, which eventually was struck.
Stoelting said investigators found four .380-caliber shell casings during their examination of the crime scene.
"One casing was found in the vacant lot, where Floyd Young later puts himself while drinking," Stoelting said. "Another shell casing was found on the edge of East Francis Street."
Two other casings were found near what Stoelting described as acceleration marks of Greer's SUV in the alley.
"The two casings found in the alley were located about 6 feet from where the acceleration marks were located in the gravel," said Stoelting, who was able to follow the acceleration marks into the grass yard where Greer's SUV came to a stop.
Stoelting said the SUV also was examined and a bullet hole was found in the front, left fender.
"The hole was at an angle as if the bullet struck the vehicle as it was driving away from the location where the shooter was standing," Stoelting said.
Greer's wound, according to Stoelting, was to the upper left side of his head.
"It appeared the projectile was fired at a downward angle because officers observed what they thought was the bullet in his right jaw area," Stoelting said. "The suspect shooter in this case is identified as being 6 (feet) 5 (inches) and weighing approximately 160 pounds."
Stoelting said no shell casings or bullet holes were found inside Greer's SUV.
After a warrant for his arrest was issued, Young turned himself in at the Malden Police Department.
During a July 19th interview, Stoelting said, Young told him and Malden Police Chief Jarrett Bullock he was at a vacant lot across from where the shooting occurred at about 3 a.m.
"Young said he was drinking and 'just hanging out,'" Stoelting said. "During this time, Young tells us a subject ... left the lot, walking east toward North Edwards Street.
"A short time later, a white SUV pulls into the alley near where he is standing. Young tells us (the subject) yells for him, along with two other black males to come to the truck."
According to his statement, Young told officers the SUV's driver produced a gun as he was approaching the vehicle.
"The other two black males leave, and Young says he reached inside the vehicle and grabs for the gun," Stoelting said. "Young tells us as he's trying to get the gun away, it goes off once or twice."
Stoelting said he confronted Young about him not being truthful.
"Young then tells us the story that he gets control of the gun, and the white male (Greer) grabs the gun, and it goes off," Stoelting said. "Young claims he dropped the gun and ran off."
Stoelting said Young again was confronted with "this lie."
"After a few more minutes of talking, Young agrees to take us to the gun," Stoelting said.
A .380-caliber Kel-Tec, which Young indicated was the one used in the alleged shooting, was turned over to officers, said Stoelting, who indicated the gun had been reported stolen from a Malden residence on May 26.
Young, who continues to be held without bond in the Dunklin County Justice Center, is to appear at 1 p.m. Nov. 23 before Satterfield for a hearing in his case.
A preliminary hearing date may be set at that time or motions may be heard.