The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 29, 2013

Woman draws 25 years in Pittsburg murder case

By Jeff Lehr
news@joplinglobe.com

PITTSBURG, Kan. — A judge assessed a Pittsburg woman more than 25 years in prison Monday for her role in a methamphetamine-related murder two years ago.

Amie Lee Ryburn, 32, had pleaded guilty in Crawford County District Court to second-degree murder and manufacturing of the drug in connection with the killing of Ian Monaghan, 29. At a hearing Monday, District Judge A.J. Wachter assessed Ryburn 25 years in prison for the crimes.

Monaghan’s body was discovered July 26, 2010, in a farm field near the Oak Hill Trailer Park on 190th Street west of Pittsburg. He had been beaten and shot multiple times.

Jasper County, Mo., sheriff’s deputies stopped a pickup truck occupied by Ryburn and Charles F. Mitchell near Joplin the same night and arrested them on drug charges. A meth lab allegedly was found in the truck.

A search warrant was served the next day on a residence in the trailer park outside Pittsburg, and another meth lab was seized.

Ryburn and Mitchell, 38, originally were charged with first-degree murder. Mitchell pleaded innocent, and his case remains pending.

A third man was charged with obstruction. He was accused lying to investigators. Authorities said at the time that they believed Monaghan, Ryburn, Mitchell and the third defendant had been together both at the trailer home where the meth lab was found and in the field where Monaghan’s body was discovered.

The Kansas attorney general’s office is prosecuting the defendants.