The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 10, 2012

Man says neighbor shot him even though he had turned music down

JOPLIN, Mo. — Keith Ritchey testified Wednesday that he had known his neighbor Kevin Cassell for four or five years, and had been on good terms with him before Cassell shot him in the face July 15 for playing music too loudly.

Associate Judge Richard Copeland ordered Cassell, 50, bound over for trial in Jasper County Circuit Court after a preliminary hearing on felony counts of first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action.

Ritchey, 23, testified at the hearing that he woke up shortly after noon on the day in question and went outside to try to start his car. The vehicle wouldn’t start, but he left its stereo on to listen to music while he sat on the porch of the apartment where he lives at 820 W. Eighth St.

“Kevin came out and said, ‘You better turn the music down before I start popping some shots,’” Ritchey told the court.

Ritchey said he swore at Cassell but turned the music down like he asked. He said he went back in the house at that point and started up some stairs but stopped and went back outside. He said Cassell emerged from his house with a gun and fired a shot over the roof of the garage at Ritchey’s apartment house.

“I said, ‘I turned the music down!’” Ritchey told the court. “And he pointed the gun at me and shot me in the face.”

The shot to his mouth critically wounded Ritchey and left him hospitalized for 11 days. The bullet shattered his mandible and severed a jugular vein before traveling down his neck and lodging in the back of his shoulder, where doctors decided to leave it, he said.

Cpl. Larry Swinehart of the Joplin Police Department testified that the defendant produced a blood-alcohol content reading of 0.311 percent on a breath test that afternoon at the Joplin City Jail. The legal limit for intoxication is 0.08 percent.

Swinehart said he went to the jail with the intent of interviewing Cassell but noticed that he was unsteady on his feet. Swinehart said that once the man’s intoxication level was known, he decided against questioning him, but a gunshot residue test was performed on the defendant’s hands.

Public defender Nicki Neil cross-examined Ritchey about his relationship with his neighbor before the shooting incident, and he acknowledged that they had been on good terms.

“He invited me to breakfast just the day before,” Ritchey said.

Next court date

KEVIN CASSELL’S initial appearance in a trial division of Jasper County Circuit Court has been set for Nov. 9.

Text Only
Local News
  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Gubernatorial hopefuls make area appearances

    Three potential candidates for Missouri governor in 2016 made stops in the Joplin area this past week.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • shoalcreekcleanup.jpg Wildcat Glades center puts on service day at Shoal Creek

    About 20 people on Saturday pulled trash out of Shoal Creek as they paddled in canoes and kayaks from Grand Falls to Zan’s Creekside Campground in Joplin.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearts & Hammers plans annual home repair event

    Since 2003, volunteers with Hearts & Hammers of Southwest Missouri have made free improvements to more than 170 homes owned by the elderly, physically disabled, and single parent or low-income families.

    July 26, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • jameswelbornupdate.jpg Local teen completes half of solo river trip

    James Welborn, a recent Webb City High School graduate, has reached the halfway point of his solo canoe trip down the Mississippi River — just in time to celebrate his 19th birthday with family.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho police warn residents of phone scam

    The Neosho Police Department has received complaints from residents saying someone impersonating a lieutenant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office warrants division has been calling them.

    July 26, 2014

Must Read


A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter