Mo. soldier in military custody on murder charge
Sunday, September 9, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Army is taking over the prosecution of a Missouri soldier accused of killing a man who slept with his wife just hours before attending her funeral.
The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/QsjIMP) reported that Justin Cannon, 22, of Peculiar, faces military charges of murder, failing to report for duty, impeding an investigation and lying to authorities. They were filed Friday, the same day the St. Clair County prosecuting attorney dropped the state charges.
Officials said Cannon is at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. It's unclear if he has an attorney.
Cannon returned to the Kansas City area to attend the funeral of his 16-year-old wife, Amber, last summer. Her death was ruled an overdose, and a woman accused of providing the drugs is charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Authorities say that on the weekend of the funeral, Cannon went camping at Truman Lake, where he argued with 24-year-old Michael Griggs. Court documents said Cannon was mad at Griggs for having sex with his wife while Cannon was away with the Army.
Griggs couldn't be found the next morning. Later that day, Cannon was at his wife's funeral as authorities searched Truman Lake for Griggs.
When Griggs' body was found, Cannon was summoned back to St. Clair County for more questioning. Court documents say he admitted to sneaking up on Griggs and throwing a rock, which hit Griggs in the back of the head.
Cannon then carried the body into the lake to hide it, the documents say.
Four days before Christmas, Cannon posted bond. But the Army charge sheet indicates Cannon didn't report until June 8.
St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney Joleene Simmons said military prosecutors have an advantage in prosecuting the case. Because she dismissed the state charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action without prejudice, she could refile them later.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com