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The Lake News Online
  • Derrell Spellmeyer, convicted of double homicide, gets life in prison

  • The shooter in a double homicide that took place south of Versailles in February 2013 received two life sentences plus two 50-year sentences of imprisonment to be served consecutively after pleading guilty to two counts of murder in the second degree and two counts of armed criminal action.
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  • The shooter in a double homicide that took place south of Versailles in February 2013 received two life sentences plus two 50-year sentences of imprisonment to be served consecutively after pleading guilty to two counts of murder in the second degree and two counts of armed criminal action.
    Derrell Spellmeyer, now 45, was sentenced by Judge Stan Moore in Morgan County Circuit Court Thursday afternoon after hearing testimony and letters from family members of the victims, Fred and Carol Wilson.
    Carol's sister, Sheryl Palmer, remembered the 53-year-old as a loving mother and grandmother who was a crafter and had the "kindest heart in the whole world".
    A letter from Carol's brother, Don Sloan, called her murder "incomprehensible" and a "senseless act".
    According to Carol's father, Dale Sloan, Carol and Fred both had need of a walker or cane at the time of their murders due to medical issues and were incapable of violent acts.
    In a letter, daughter Jennifer Neally wrote that Carol was not just her mom but also her friend and that she missed her voice, her laugh and her smile. Neally said she missed Fred's bear hugs.
    All of the Wilson's family members testifying asked that Spellmeyer receive the maximum punishment possible and never be allowed in society again.
    Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney Dustin Dunklee recommended life in prison for each count of murder and 50 years for each count of armed criminal action with the terms to be served consecutively.
    While Spellmeyer himself chose not to make any comments at the hearing, his wife Marissa apologized to the victims' family and said that he was trying to own up to what he'd done.
    According to defense attorney James Gray, Spellmeyer has a history of drug and alcohol abuse that goes back to his teens. Spellmeyer also has mental health issues, Gray said, though they did not meet the legal level to make him incompetent.
    Spellmeyer was evaluated in 2013 by staff at the Fulton State Hospital and was deemed competent.
    Addicted to pain killers at the time of the incident, Spellmeyer attempted to get a prescription from a doctor and failed, leading to a quest to find pills to feed his addiction, Gray said.
    Knowing of Carol Wilson's medical issues, Gray said that Spellmeyer was initially going to take a BB gun into the Wilsons' home to scare them and take the drugs, never intending to kill them, but one of the other people charged in the incident gave him a real gun.
    Once inside, things somehow escalated, and Spellmeyer shot and killed Fred and Carol.
    Gray said that Spellmeyer takes responsibility for his actions which is why he pleaded guilty — not once but twice.
    Page 2 of 2 - After initially pleading guilty Nov. 13, 2013, Spellmeyer was scheduled for sentencing Jan. 16, 2014 but claimed the gun went off on accident in a sentencing assessment report conducted by the Missouri Department of Corrections. Subsequently, the plea was thrown into question and the case was transferred from Judge Kenneth Hayden to Moore.
    Spellmeyer continued to plead guilty and the sentencing assessment was redone — apparently with no issues that might cast the guilty plea in question the second time.
    According to Marissa Spellmeyer's testimony during the June 12 sentencing hearing, Spellmeyer could not remember what happened in the house.
    Gray asked that the court take Spellmeyer's remorse into consideration in the sentencing. While Gray did not recommend a certain number of years, he did ask that the sentences be served concurrently rather than consecutively.
    Spellmeyer was arrested along with Garland and Mandy Mitchell near the Wilson's home on Dorsey Lane on Feb. 4, 2013 shortly after a 911 call from Carol reporting that she had been shot.
    According to the probable cause statement issued by the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, a white van with Spellmeyer and Garland and Mandy Mitchell inside swerved and hit a patrol car as it responded to the call.
    The trio were taken into custody at the scene of the crash where officers recovered a .32 caliber hand gun, a bottle of Hydrocodone belonging to Carol Wilson and a .32 caliber casing. Officers also reported blood on Spellmeyer's hands and clothing.
    In a later interview with detectives, Spellmeyer admitted to doing the shooting.
    Court documents state that the Mitchells told detectives that they drove Spellmeyer to the Wilson residence to obtain drugs. Although they did not enter the home, the Mitchells said they recalled hearing gunshots a short time later, according to the probable cause statement.
    All three then fled the scene in the van before encountering officers.

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