The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

July 27, 2012

Jury recommends 13 years in prison in Stella murder case

A jury has recommended that a Stella man receive at least 13 years in prison for shooting and killing his landlord a year ago.

A McDonald County jury made the recommendation today in the sentencing phase of the trial of Danny K. Thomas, 61, in Pineville, for the slaying of Darrell Bone, 58, of Rocky Comfort, on July 26. The jury recommended that Thomas also receive three years in prison for armed criminal action.

It will be up to Circuit Judge John LePage to decide if the terms should run concurrent or consecutive. Thomas is to be sentenced Oct. 1 following a pre-sentence investigation.

Jurors found Thomas guilty Thursday of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the trial that was moved from Newton County on a change of venue.

The prosecution presented evidence that Thomas shot Bone once in the back and twice in the face with a rifle when Bone went to his residence to talk to him about moving out. Bone had sold the property that Thomas was leasing and wanted him out by the time the property was to change hands on Sept. 1.

Thomas maintained that he and his landlord had a longer standing rift between them involving an escaped convict from North Carolina and that Bone threatened his life on the day in question. Thomas told investigators that he thought his landlord was going to his truck to get a weapon when he killed him.


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