The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 26, 2011

Sheriff: Woman’s ex-boyfriend shot, killed by current beau

PINEVILLE, Mo. — A woman’s efforts to retrieve her possessions from the home of an ex-boyfriend with the help of her current beau led to the fatal shooting of one man and the wounding of another, according to McDonald County authorities.

Sheriff Robert Evenson said John Bevill II, 34, died after being shot twice with a pump shotgun about 9:30 p.m. Friday in the driveway of his home at 445 Cecil Epling Way in southeastern McDonald County.

Deputies responding to a report of a shooting at the address found Bevill dead at the scene and a second man, Kendrick Long, 22, of Rogers, Ark., with a gunshot wound to his arm, the sheriff said. Long was flown by medical helicopter to a Joplin hospital, he said.

Investigators with the Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol later went to a home on Highway 90 near Route E and detained a Bentonville, Ark., man and his girlfriend in connection with the shooting.

Brian J. Clapper, 31, eventually was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action.

Evenson said that Clapper’s girlfriend, who had been in a relationship with Bevill before their breakup about three months ago, was released without any charges.

A probable-cause affidavit states that Clapper accompanied the woman on a trip to Bevill’s home to retrieve some of her belongings early in the day. They moved some of her possessions into a nearby storage building owned by another man before driving a load to her home in Bentonville, the affidavit states.

They returned to the storage building about 9 p.m. Friday to get the remainder of her belongings and were spotted by Bevill and Long, who drove by as the couple were loading items into Clapper’s pickup truck, according to the affidavit. The sheriff told the Globe that the affidavit is based primarily on accounts provided to investigators by Clapper and the woman.

The affidavit states that Bevill and Long turned around, went back and parked blocking Clapper’s truck. Bevill reportedly approached the woman and grabbed her by the throat. Clapper told investigators that he warned Bevill several times to let go of her, but Bevill would not and instead walked her around to the driver’s side of Clapper’s truck, holding her by the throat.

Investigators say Clapper told them that he saw a knife in Bevill’s left hand as well as his right hand on the woman’s throat. Clapper said he reached into his truck and grabbed his shotgun, which he knew was loaded with seven rounds, and warned Bevill that he would shoot if he did not let her go, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states that Clapper fired a shot, striking Bevill in the arm, and shot him a second time in the groin as the woman pulled away from him. The document states that Clapper then turned and fired two shots at Long, striking him in an elbow with one of the shots. It does not state why he allegedly shot Long.

The couple left the scene in Clapper’s truck. The sheriff said they later placed a call to 911 and let authorities know that they had been involved in the shooting and where they could be found.

Evenson declined to comment on any potential claim of justifiable shooting inherent in Clapper’s and the woman’s accounts. He said investigators were still looking into those accounts.

“I don’t want to muddle the issue for the prosecutor,” the sheriff said.

He said several knives were recovered, and investigators were trying to determine what role, if any, they may have played in the matter. An autopsy was performed on Bevill’s body on Monday in Springfield, but the sheriff had yet to receive any information regarding preliminary findings.

In jail

BRIAN J. CLAPPER remained in custody Monday at the McDonald County Jail in Pineville on a cash-only bond of $50,000.

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