The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 9, 2013

Estranged husband, farmhand charged in ’09 Vernon County killing

By Jeff Lehr
Globe Staff Writer

NEVADA, Mo. — Vernon County authorities have arrested Bob T. Beisly II and an accomplice for the 2009 murder of Beisly’s estranged wife.

First-degree murder warrants were issued Friday for Beisly, 57, and Jeremy Maples, 33, in the gunning down of Belinda Jean Beisly, 47, on July 15, 2009, inside her home off Route H north of Deerfield.

Her body was discovered by sheriff’s deputies conducting a well-being check at the request of a friend, who became concerned when she did not show up for work that day at the 3M plant in Nevada and had not called in sick.

The husband, who was living separately and in the middle of a divorce from the victim at the time of the slaying, has been a suspect since early in the investigation of her murder. He was taken into custody Friday afternoon at his home on North Oak Street in Nevada, Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher told the Globe.

“We’ve come across new evidence and felt we have enough now to press charges,” Mosher said.

Maples was not arrested until about 4:30 p.m. Saturday at a rural Cedar County address.

“We’ve been watching for him (Maples) for a couple of weeks,” Mosher said.

Deputies had staked out Maples’ girlfriend’s home in Nevada but without ever spotting him, he said. More recently, investigators received credible information that Maples was seen three or four days ago in El Dorado Springs, Mosher said.

Maples had an outstanding warrant for a probation violation that preceded the issuance of the warrant for murder.

He was working as a hired hand for Beisly’s farming operations at the time of the murder, Mosher said. The sheriff declined to discuss which of the suspects is believed to have shot Belinda Beisly.

The Beislys had a teenage son who split time living with his mother and father before her murder. She also was survived by an adult stepson, who was one of four suspects charged last year with smuggling marijuana into the Vernon County Jail.

Bob Beisly II was sent to prison in 2008 for a felony drug conviction but was released after serving a portion of his sentence.

In custody

The murder charges filed against Bob T. Beisly II and Jeremy Maples carried no bond warrants, and the two men remained in custody Saturday at the Vernon County Jail.