The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 4, 2012

Judge orders man to serve 16-year term

PINEVILLE, Mo. — A McDonald County judge decided this week that a Stella man convicted of killing his landlord should serve the two prison sentences recommended by his jury consecutively.

The jury that convicted Danny K. Thomas, 61, in the slaying of Darrell Bone, 58, of Rocky Comfort, on July 26, 2011, had recommended in the penalty phase of his trial in July that Thomas be assessed 13 years for second-degree murder and three years for armed criminal action.

The determination whether the sentences should be concurrent or consecutive was left to Associate Circuit Judge John LePage, who ruled at a sentencing hearing Monday in Pineville that the terms should run consecutively.

Thomas shot Bone once in the back and twice in the face when the landlord came to his residence to talk to him about moving out. Bone had sold the property that Thomas was leasing near Stella, and the landlord wanted him out before the closing date.

The relationship of the two men was complicated by Bone having lived with the sister of the defendant for several years and by a long-standing quarrel concerning an escaped convict from North Carolina, according to court records.