The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 15, 2012

Woman alleges Granby man played Russian roulette with her life

By Jeff Lehr
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Granby man accused of abducting a 65-year-old woman and sexually assaulting her for two days in November also put a gun to her head and played Russian roulette with her life, according to the Newton County sheriff.

Sheriff Ken Copeland said deputies arrested Ricky Dale Casteel, 56, about 8:30 p.m. Friday following an investigation of the woman’s alleged ordeal, which first came to light when she sought a protection order earlier the same day in Newton County Circuit Court.

The sheriff said the woman, who lives near Joplin, met Casteel several weeks ago at a dance and they went out a few times. Then, on Nov. 18, while they were in her car together in Neosho, they got into an argument, he said.

“She tried to make him get out of her car,” Copeland said. “He refused and pulled a knife on her, and made her take him to her house.”

Casteel held her captive in the house for two days, repeatedly subjecting her to sexual assault and keeping her tied to a bed at night, the sheriff said. During the daytime, he kept her tethered to him by a rope that he tied to her wrist, he said.

Casteel discovered a revolver she kept in the house, loaded it with a single bullet and began playing Russian roulette with her, the sheriff said.

“He would spin the cylinder, place it to her head and pull the trigger,” Copeland said.

He said the woman told investigators that Casteel played the game at least three or four times over the two-day period without the gun discharging. Eventually, he let her go and he left in his truck.

“He had threatened to return and kill her if she told anybody,” the sheriff said. “She was terrified and remained in her house for the next four or five days without telling anyone.”

She still had not reported the crime by Thursday when she ventured out of her home and ran into the suspect in a public place, the sheriff said. Casteel allegedly threatened her again, prompting her to seek the protection order the next day. The sheriff declined to reveal where that encounter took place, citing ongoing concerns with the woman’s safety.

Copeland said investigators discovered evidence in the woman’s home corroborating various details of her account, but he declined to discuss the nature of that evidence.

Casteel is charged with first-degree assault, forcible rape with a weapon, forcible sodomy, felonious restraint, armed-criminal action and domestic assault. He remained in custody Saturday night at the Newton County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond.