Puxico father, son to stand trial for 2017 death of Sikeston man

Thursday, May 3, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- A Puxico father and son are to stand trial in February in connection with an apparent high-speed crash that left a pedestrian dead.

Wesley G. Faries and his father, Garey L. Faries, appeared in court Wednesday before Presiding Circuit Judge Robert Mayer for a review of their cases.

Wesley Faries is charged with the Class C felony of first-degree involuntary manslaughter. He is accused of recklessly causing the death of Phillip A. Manning, 21, of Sikeston, on Feb. 17, 2017.

Manning, according to earlier reports, was in the roadway when he allegedly was struck by a 2009 Cadillac XLR being driven southbound on Highway 51, one mile south of Puxico. Manning was pronounced dead at the scene.

The elder Faries is charged with the Class E felony of hindering prosecution.

At the time of the crash, Garey Faries, 78, told Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers he had been driving the vehicle, which struck Manning.

On Wednesday, the state, represented by New Madrid County Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Lawson, who is serving as special prosecutor on the cases, filed an amended information with the court in each man’s case.

In addition to his original involuntary manslaughter charge, Wesley Faries now also is charged with the Class D felony of leaving the scene of an accident, while his father is now accused of hindering his prosecution for that offense.

During the Farieses’ appearances, Mayer ordered the men to stand trial Feb. 14-15, 2019 on their charges and set their pretrial conferences for Jan. 16, 2019.

According to Trooper Russell Gibson’s probable-cause statements, the crash investigation revealed a “southbound vehicle traveling at an excessive rate of speed struck a pedestrian in the roadway.”

Gibson said he contacted Garey Faries, who “identified himself as the driver, but was not able to give much information about the crash.”

Gibson said consent was given by the vehicle’s owner to download the internally recorded information from the vehicle’s computer.

“The computer showed the vehicle was traveling in excess of 100 mph when the event registered,” Gibson said.

Further information, he said, “cultivated doubt” that the elder Faries was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.

“A witness contacted the highway patrol and provided a written statement that did not describe the driver as a 76-year-old male,” Gibson said.

When the witness was shown a photographic lineup, Gibson said, she identified the younger Faries as the person at the vehicle immediately following the crash.

Gibson said he contacted Garey Faries at the Puxico Police Department.

“He again repeated and insisted that he was the driver at the time of the crash,” said Gibson, who later contacted Wesley Faries at the police department.

“He stated to me he was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the crash, and he called his wife and father to come to the crash scene and get him,” Gibson explained. “His father, Garey L. Faries, agreed to identify himself as the driver.”

Both men subsequently were arrested and remain free on bond.

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