Friday, January 21, 2011

3 suspects in assault plead not guilty

By John Ford, Neosho Daily News

Three men accused in the stabbing and beating of a McDonald County man have pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault charges.

Danny Leon Estep, 33, of Neosho, Joshua D. Estep, 29, of Neosho and Sam Lee Moreau, 28, of Goodman entered the plea in a Tuesday court appearance before McDonald County Associate Circuit Court Judge John LePage. At the court appearance, each was given applications for public defenders.

The trio is accused of assaulting Jared Taylor, 26, of Anderson last Saturday. According to a report filed by the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office, the three “knowingly and willfully caused serious physical injury to Taylor by savagely assaulting him and dumping him in the roadway, with no way to contact help, lying bleeding, with a puncture wound to his chest, multiple puncture wounds to his stomach, and a laceration to his face that went as deep as the skull.”

The report noted that one of the suspects allegedly commanded a pitbull dog to attack Taylor’s facial area, then dumped him in the middle of the westbound lane of Route NN.

A deputy’s report said Taylor gave his name when asked, but collapsed in the ambulance and was unconscious and unresponsive. A medical helicopter was then called to the scene.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by McDonald County deputy Kenen L. Martinez, Danny Estep had just been released from state prison for a previous felony conviction. He has been convicted on two counts of second-degree domestic assault, first-degree burglary, resisting arrest of a felony and resisting arrest in a manner creating a grave risk of physical injury or death.

All three are set to be back in court at 10 a.m. Feb. 9 for pre-trial conferences. LePage will preside.
A Class A felony, first-degree assault is punishable by up to 30 years or life in prison.

Update July 21, 2011 - The following article is from Neosho Daily News:

Danny Estep gets prison term in assault case

One of three men accused in a brutal assault of a McDonald County resident has pleaded guilty to a lesser crime and been sentenced to prison.

Danny Estep was to go to trial on July 12 in connection with the assault of Jared Taylor of Anderson early this year. However, days before the trial was to have started, Danny Estep, who was charged with first-degree assault resulting in serious physical injury, entered a guilty plea to a charge of second-degree assault. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, and his sentence began immediately afterward.

Danny Estep, along with his brother, Joshua, and Goodman resident Sam Lee Moreau, are accused of “knowingly and willfully caused serious physical injury to Taylor by savagely assaulting him and dumping him in the roadway, with no way to contact help, lying bleeding, with a puncture wound to his chest, multiple puncture wounds to his stomach, and a laceration to his face that went as deep as the skull,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

The report noted that one of the suspects allegedly commanded a pit bull dog to attack Taylor’s facial area, then dumped him in the middle of the westbound lane of Route NN.

A deputy’s report said Taylor gave his name when asked, but collapsed in the ambulance and was unconscious and unresponsive. A medical helicopter was then called to the scene.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by McDonald County deputy Kenen L. Martinez, Danny Estep had just been released from state prison for a previous felony conviction. He has been convicted on two counts of second-degree domestic assault, first-degree burglary, resisting arrest of a felony and resisting arrest in a manner creating a grave risk of physical injury or death.

Danny Estep was represented by Neosho attorney C. Ross Rhoades.

A jury trial for Joshua Estep was previously set for Oct. 4 and he will be back in court for a pre-trial conference on Aug. 16.  Moreau is scheduled to be back in court on Aug. 2 for another pre-trial conference.

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