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Grand jury indicts several area residents

The Cole County grand jury handed down several indictments this week, finding there was enough evidence to send the cases on to the circuit courts for possible trial.

Among those indicted were:

• Two St. Louis-area residents charged in connection with a burglary that occurred in February in Jefferson City. Charles Lowry, 43, is charged with first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree assault. Kristie Meeks, 37, is facing charges of first-degree burglary and second-degree robbery.

The burglary occurred around 3:30 p.m. in the 300 block of Lafayette Street. Four people in an apartment stated they were assaulted after a suspect broke in the door in an attempted robbery.

Meeks, who was known to the victims, had come to the residence about 15 minutes before the attempted robbery and had started watching a movie with the residents.

When Lowry came through the door, he began to assault the victims with the assistance of Meeks. Lowry and Meeks hit the victims and threatened them, demanding money, but left with nothing and fled the area. Lowry was armed with a knife, but never used it.

It was later learned that while Meeks was watching the movie with the victims, she was allegedly texting Lowry to plan the robbery attempt.

• An Iberia man charged in connection with a home invasion that occurred in January in Jefferson City.

Bruce Maylee, 54, is charged with first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and felonious restraint.

Maylee is believed to have broken into a home in the 400 block of Hickory Street and tied up a man and woman living there, and beaten the man, breaking his jaw and finger and fracturing one of his eye sockets.

While fighting with the man, Maylee struck him with a pistol and choked him until he passed out. Maylee was demanding $3,250, which the male victim said he did not have.

The victims identified Maylee in photo lineups, and descriptions they gave matched those of Maylee.

A witness told authorities that earlier this month, the male victim stole $3,000 from Maylee for a drug transaction. A search of the male victim’s phone shows four text messages from Maylee that were harassing in nature.

• Two Jefferson City men who are facing charges related to a sexual assault case from December 2013. Justin Shaw, 32, and Michael Yerkes, 38, are accused of crimes that are believed to have occurred in the 200 block of Ash Street.

Shaw is charged with one count of second-degree statutory rape.

Yerkes is charged with second-degree statutory sodomy and second-degree statutory rape.

Jefferson City Police Department probable cause statements show both men are charged with having sex with a female younger than 17.

Yerkes was staying with Shaw, who is a registered sex offender.

The female victim had been reported missing from a nearby community, but was found to be with the two men. She said she walked home with Yerkes after meeting him in the area of the library.

Both men and the female victim admitted to being intoxicated when these events occurred.

• A St. Louis man was indicted in connection with a shooting in the 700 block of Madison Street in November 2013. Joseph Cotton III, 26, is charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The incident began at Club Lush when witnesses said Cotton got into an argument at the front door about having to pay a cover charge.

Cotton left the club, hit a woman, and an argument ensued between Cotton and several people. Cotton then pulled out a handgun and fired eight shots, striking four people, leaving them with non-life-threatening wounds.

One of the victims said Cotton came to his house and apologized for shooting him. He told the victim he didn’t mean for him to get hit.

• A Jefferson City man accused of promoting child pornography. Jonathan Cox, 27, 420 Case Ave., had been under investigation since August 2013.

When authorities searched Cox’s residence in October 2013, he admitted using a file-sharing program to search and download child pornography files. He admitted to actively downloading child pornography for several years, saying the file contained images of children as young as 2 years old.

Computers and other electronic equipment were seized from Cox’s home for forensic examination. He is charged with first-degree promoting child pornography and possession of child pornography.

• A Jefferson City woman charged with using the name of another woman, and her Social Security number, to steal more than $700 in services.

Virginia Lafayette, 45, 1221 Cottage Lane, is believed to have purchased the services between August 2012 and February 2013.

Ameren said the victim owed money for electric service.

Lafayette told investigators she had unpaid bills under her name and used the victim’s name to steal the services.

She also admitted her husband is using a name they obtained by way of a report generated by the Department of Social Services in Butler County to get service.

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