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Ozark County Man Sentenced in Murder Case

An Ozark County man arrested nearly six months ago for second-degree murder in the shooting death of another male was able to avoid prison time after he pled guilty to amended charges.

Forty-two-year-old Brian Dunaway of Theodosia entered his plea to voluntary manslaughter at the Ozark County Courthouse Nov. 23, and he received a 10-year suspended sentence and five years of probation.

An online court document from Ozark County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Weatherman indicates Dunaway acted in self-defense during a domestic assault incident between victim, 27-year-old Dewayne “Ed” Wessel, and his girlfriend on the morning of June 13. Dunaway, who shared the residence with Wessel and his girlfriend, reportedly attempted to intercede, and the two males got into a physical altercation. That’s when Dunaway reportedly produced a handgun and shot Wessel.

In the court document, Weatherman goes on to say, “the defendant’s possession of methamphetamine simultaneously with a firearm is a separate felony, which constitutes felony murder. Missouri law does not allow a defendant to assert self-defense when the felony murder allegations do not involve a forcible felony. Accordingly, the defendant would not be able to claim self-defense at trial, even though he factually was defending himself and others at the time of the incident.” Weatherman also states Wessel’s parents have agreed to the outcome of the case.

In addition to second-degree murder, Dunaway had been charged with possession of a firearm while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance.

(From KTLO)

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