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A charge has been dismissed against a Kaiser man in connection with a Miller County murder case.

Court records show an abandonment of a corpse charge was dismissed against William Lucas, 53, in the death of Aaron Brantley, 41, of Columbia.

The court records state the charge was dismissed "without prejudice," which means prosecutors could come back and charge Lucas in the case.

Last summer, prosecutors dismissed murder and armed criminal action charges against Lucas and Daniel Cole, 55, of Kaiser. Court records state Cole is still charged with abandonment of a corpse in the case and a jury trial is scheduled for April.

In October, a change of venue was ordered in the case of a third person charged in Brantley's death.

Miller County Judge Peggy Richardson granted a motion to allow the case of Christopher English, 43, of Eldon, to be heard in Laclede County.

English pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse in Brantley's death. Court records state his case is to be back in court in April.

Brantley's body was found March 7, 2019, in a wooded area near Brumley in Miller County. He had been reported missing Feb. 8. Authorities said he died of a gunshot wound.

When he was reported missing, Brantley was last known to be driving to the Lake of the Ozarks area. His vehicle was also recovered.

Records from Brantley's cellphone indicate he last talked with English, according to a Miller County Sheriff's Office probable cause statement. English said he was supposed to meet with Brantley, but he never showed up. Investigators eventually determined Wilson and Brantley were to meet at a bowling alley on Missouri 42 in Kaiser.

On March 6, Osage Beach police reported an unidentified man had come to their department, saying he was involved in a homicide on Blue Ridge Road in Miller County.

The person told authorities he was at a residence Feb. 8 that belonged to Lucas on Blue Ridge Road. He said he had seen English walk outside to a garage to meet with someone. The person said English went back into Lucas' home and said he had just shot the subject and demanded everyone in the home help load the body into the victim's vehicle. This was later determined to be Brantley, and it was his vehicle.

Cole told authorities English drove Brantley's car while Lucas followed in another vehicle. They allegedly went back to Lucas' home without Brantley's vehicle or his body.

Lucas was interviewed by authorities March 7, and he admitted to his involvement in Brantley's killing, saying he had helped remove Brantley's body and transported it twice.

Investigators also learned Lucas had purchased bags of lime, a tarp and work lights from a store in Lake Ozark to help with the disposal of evidence. Lucas told authorities they had tried to burn their clothes and destroy the crime scene.

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