Seligman man pleads guilty to second-degree murder
Sharp to be sentenced on Tuesday in Barry County court
After one year and two months behind bars, a Seligman man has pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder, stemming from an Aug. 3, 2014, wreck on Highway 90 that killed 48-year-old Kenneth Patterson, of Seligman.
Brian Sharp, 33, of Seligman, is set to be sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty on Oct. 20 to second-degree murder, driving with a revoked or suspended license, and leaving the scene of an accident. He has been held in the Barry County jail on a $100,000 since turning himself in to deputies on Aug. 7, 2014.
Sharp's plea came at a pre-trial conference, and cancelled the forthcoming jury trial, which had been originally scheduled for Sept. 16, but was later moved to Nov. 4-6.
Charges against Sharp were filed by former Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox, who said he filed the murder charge because the death occurred during the act of a felony, as Sharp's license was revoked at the time of the wreck.
According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Sharp was driving a 1979 Chevrolet Corvette on Highway 90, two miles west of Washburn, when the vehicle ran off the roadway, struck a culvert and overturned.
The passenger in the vehicle, Patterson, was pronounced dead at the scene by Barry County Deputy Coroner Charles McManus.
According to a probable cause statement filed by Cpl. Kenneth Sanders, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Sharp was not with the vehicle when law enforcement arrived at the wreck.
The statement alleges there were cold beer cans scattered around the Corvette, and a witness informed Sanders a man fled the vehicle and ran into the woods. Upon checking the registration of the vehicle, Sanders found it belonged to June Sharp, of Seligman.
She told Sanders she did not know where her son, Brian Sharp, was at the time, saying she had not seen him for two days.
June Sharp provided Sanders with Brian Sharp's cell phone number, but Sanders had recovered the phone at the scene.
Sharp turned himself in to authorities five days later. Sharp was originally being represented by Attorney Anna Wilhelmina Johnson, but in November 2014, switched his representation to Attorney Darwin Eugene Groomer.
Barry County Prosecuting Attorney Amy Boxx took over the case's prosecution in January. Judge Jack Goodman presided over the case.