Grand jury indicts two

The Cole County Grand Jury has indicted a Columbia man with two previous DWI convictions in connection with a fatal wreck in March.

Dennis G. Leporin, 28, Columbia, is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree assault and driving while intoxicated — all felonies — plus two misdemeanors, driving while his license was revoked, and driving the wrong way on a highway.

Jefferson City police said Leporin was driving east in the westbound lanes of U.S. 54, when his 1999 Ford Ranger collided head-on with Chelsea D. Fredrickson’s 2003 Saturn Ion.

Fredrickson, 19, Camdenton, was killed.

The accident occurred near the Missouri 179/Route B interchange.

Leporin said he’d had “a couple” of drinks.

Later, at the hospital, according to a police probable cause statement, Leporin “made statements to officers that ‘I was in a horrible wreck that I caused’ and that he was ‘really wasted.’”

He told officers he’d been drinking whiskey and Coke.

“He also stated, ‘This crash happened because I’ve been drinking,’” the report said.

The grand jury also indicted a Jefferson City man charged in connection with a shooting in January.

Elonzo Johnson Jr ., 21, 5421 Bret Court, is charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

Cole County Sheriff’s Department probable cause statements show Johnson was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped at the intersection of Northway Drive and South Brooks Drive shortly after the shooting occurred around 2:22 p.m. at 5205 Collier Court.

Witnesses said Johnson was in a fight with another man, and they saw Johnson get a revolver-style handgun from the trunk of his vehicle before firing two shots at the victim from about 15 feet away.

A search of a nearby vacant apartment turned up a handgun of the same caliber used in the shooting. There were two unfired cartridges and two fired cartridges in the cylinder of the gun, which matched the description of the gun witnesses said Johnson used.

A search of Johnson’s vehicle found ammunition in the trunk that was the same as that found in the revolver.

The victim also identified Johnson as the man who shot him.

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