According to a press release from Winfrey, Powell is facing the additional charges because he allegedly “knowingly” caused the death of the victim, a man identified only as “M.J.”
A Mexico, Mo., man is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of a man from Colorado who he allegedly beat, stabbed and drug behind a Jeep at a Lake Ozark Campground last fall.
John Joe Powell was originally charged with assault on September 21, 2017. Earlier this week, Miller County Prosecutor Ben Winfrey filed a first degree murder charge against Powell along with an armed criminal action charge.
According to a press release from Winfrey, Powell is facing the additional charges because he allegedly “knowingly” caused the death of the victim, a man identified only as “M.J.” The press release stated Powell killed M.J. by striking him with a tire iron.
With this set of charges, a warrant was issued by the Miller County Associate Circuit Court with an order of no bond.
First degree murder is a class A felony is punishable by a minimum of 10 to 30 years in prison or life imprisonment. Armed criminal action, an unclassified felony, is punishable by a minimum of three years in prison with no maximum sentence.
Powell was originally charged with three counts of armed criminal action and three counts of assault after allegedly getting into an argument with M.J. The victim died several days after the incident on September 29, 2017. He was taken to University Hospital for treatment of his injuries. An autopsy later determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma.
Powell and his wife had been camping at Iguana Campground for two weeks. The victim, who was also staying at the campground, had met Powell and his wife the same day the incident was reported. The two men allegedly started arguing over their military service. Powell allegedly got angry after the victim told him he worked for the CIA and made threats against his wife.
The victim was found unconscious by police. He was tied to the rear of a Jeep. The victim had stab wounds and the fingers on his left hand were nearly severed. The victim had also been beaten.
The campsite where Powell and his wife were staying showed signs of a struggle. Two knives and a hammer were recovered at the scene.
According to the probable cause statement filed in the case, when an officer was asking people at the scene what happened, Powell allegedly said, “I put him there, because he’s threatening to kill my wife and !@#$.”
He also later allegedly gave a full confession to M.J.’s murder on October 18, 2017, according to court documents.
Powell was on parole with the State of Missouri for domestic assault.
Winfrey thanked the Lake Ozark Police Department’s police officers for its hard work investigating this case and the many first responders who assisted M.J.