Suspect pleads guilty to killing SW Missouri couple
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) — A 23-year-old man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2008 stabbing deaths of a husband and wife in their southwest Missouri home.
Darren J. Winans, of Jasper, entered the pleas to two counts of murder Monday. His 20-year-old co-defendant, Springfield resident Matthew Laurin, committed suicide in the Jasper County Jail after pleading to the same charges last year.
They were accused of killing 70-year-old Robert Sheldon and his 71-year-old wife, Ellen, at their home near Carthage in October 2008. Prosecutors said they intended to steal weapons from the Sheldons’ gun and archery shop next to their home.
The Joplin Globe reports that Winans’ plea spares him the possibility of being sentenced to die. He faces 10 years to life in prison for the murder charges, with a chance for parole.
Information from: The Joplin Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com