A Stover man already in custody for other crimes, was charged Friday with the murders of a Morgan County couple.
Ronald J. Blowers, 25, was charged with two class A felony counts of second-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of first-degree burglary.
He's being held in the Morgan County Jail, on a $1 million bond.
The couple, Wayne Louis Wells, 82, and Mable Irene Wells, 71, were found inside their home, south of Stover, at approximately 11:10 a.m. Tuesday.
In a news release sent Friday, Morgan County Sheriff Jim Petty said Blowers was charged based on "evidence from the scene and information obtained from Ronald Blowers." The sheriff also noted: "It was first believed that the victims had been shot by a small caliber firearm; however the autopsy (conducted on Wednesday at Capital Region Hospital in Jefferson City) revealed they died of blunt force trauma."
"It is believed that a pipe, knife, and screwdriver were used to inflict the injuries. Yesterday (Thursday), a pipe was found near the scene believed to be one of the weapons."
Petty had said in an earlier release that the Welles' home's "south door had been forced open, the lights were on and both victims were fully clothed."
According to a probable cause statement filed Friday by Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. David Rice, at approximately 6:28 p.m. Monday, the Highway Patrol received a report of a rollover accident involving a red Ford Explorer at Ivy Bend Road and Hillview Road near the scene of the homicide. Troopers responded and Blowers was allegedly believed to be the operator of the wrecked vehicle. Neighbors of the Wells reported seeing a sports utility vehicle allegedly speeding away from near the homicide scene matching the description of Blowers' vehicle, the probable cause statement said.
At approximately 5:50 p.m., officers attempted to contact Blowers at his residence at 33226 Sunset Road in Stover. Blowers allegedly brandished a knife at officers while in his driveway and began stabbing himself repeatedly in the stomach, Sgt. Rice reported in the probable cause statement. Blowers told officers, "I did not mean to do it," and then fled and led officers on a lengthy foot pursuit.
During the incident, Blowers allegedly refused to drop the knife and continued to stab himself in the stomach and neck. He spontaneously denied killing "those" people, Sgt. Rice said in the probable cause statement.
In a probable cause statement filed Dec. 5 also by Sgt. Rice, back-up officers arrived and attempted to deploy a taser device on Blowers without effect following pursuit. Missouri Highway Patrol Cpl. Bill Surface arrived and sprayed Blowers with OC spray, the statement reported. Blowers allegedly refused to drop the knife and was tackled by officers. Blowers actively fought against arresting officers by flailing his arms and refusing to comply with officers' orders, Sgt. Rice reported in the Dec. 5 probable cause statement. Officers had to force Blowers hands behind his back as they attempted to locate the knife, the Dec. 5 statement said. Blowers was then taken into custody and the knife was seized.
Blowers has been charged with resisting arrest creating substantial risk of serious injury, a class D felony, and assault on law enforcement officer in the second degree with a deadly weapon.
According to a Morgan County Sheriff's Office news release issued Dec. 5 involving the incident, Blowers was taken to University Hospital in Columbia with non-life threatening wounds following the arrest on scene.
It's believed the crime occurred between 5-9 p.m. Monday - after dark, but before the couple usually went to bed, according to the Morgan County Sheriff's Office's Dec. 5 news release.
At approximately 10:58 a.m. Dec. 6, officers interviewed Blowers at the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, the Dec. 7 probably cause statement reported. During a mirandized interview, Blowers admitted to being present at the Wells home during the commission of the homicide. Blowers admitted to using a pipe, knife and screwdriver to inflict injuries on the victims, the probable cause statement said.
According to the complaint filed with the Morgan County Associate Judge Division by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Douglas B. Kinde, Blowers has been formally charged with the following:
• a class A felony count of murder in the second degree in that the defendant (Blowers) knowingly caused the death of Mable Wells by striking her with a pipe;
• a class A felony count of murder in the second degree in that the defendant knowingly caused the death of Wayne Wells by striking him with a pipe;
• two felony counts of armed criminal action in that the defendant committed the foregoing the felony of murder in the second degree by, with and through, the knowing use, assistance and aid of a dangerous weapon;
• and one class B felony count of burglary in the first degree in that the defendant knowingly entered unlawfully in an inhabitable structure located at 34024 Oak Hill Road and owned by Wayne and Mable Wells, for the purpose of committing stealing and while in such inhabitable structure the defendant caused immediate physical injury to Wayne and Mable Wells who were not participants in the crime.
In addition, this formal complaint of charges states that the range of punishment for a class A felony of murder in the second degree is imprisonment in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections for a term of no less than 10 years and not to exceed 30 years or life imprisonment. Range of punishment for the armed criminal action felony counts are for imprisonment for no less than three years without eligibility for parole, probation, conditional release or suspended imposition or execution of sentence for a period of three calendar years. The felony count of burglary in the first degree has a range of punishment of imprisonment for a term of no less than five years and not to exceed 15 years.