The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 2, 2011

Jury convicts truck driver of sexual abuse of stepdaughter

NEOSHO, Mo. — A Newton County jury deliberated 22 minutes Wednesday before convicting a truck driver from Alabama of sexually abusing his 12-year-old stepdaughter a year ago at a Joplin truck stop.

Delbert F. Glover, 50, of Hatton, Ala., was convicted on all three counts of statutory sodomy that he was facing in a single-day trial in Newton County Circuit Court in Neosho.

Circuit Judge Tim Perigo set Glover’s sentencing hearing for Dec. 19. Each of the counts carries from 10 to 30 years or up to life in prison in Missouri.


The girl, now 13, testified that the abuse took place at more than one location while she was on a trip with Glover to California in his tractor-trailer. But the trial concerned only those acts that allegedly took place the night of June 21, 2010, at the Pilot truck stop on Interstate 44 in Joplin.

The case came to the attention of law enforcement when the girl ran inside the truck stop wearing nothing more than a T-shirt and sought help on the advice of her mother, who she had called on a cellphone.

The girl told the court that she had been excited to accompany her stepfather on the cross-country haul because she had never been to California. Glover had been involved with her mother for more than six years, and he had been good to her, the girl said. He was the only father she had ever known, she told the court.

On the trip, they stopped at a Hooters restaurant, and he bought her some shorts and a T-shirt like those the restaurant’s waitresses wore. At nights in the truck’s cab, they would sleep together in the bed but with their clothes on, the girl said.

In California, he took her to the beach and she got to swim in the ocean, but that’s also where he began acting inappropriately with her, she testified. She said his sexual misconduct continued on their way back at a stop in Texas and again in Joplin.

She said that inside the truck’s cab on the night in question, he plied her with a wine cooler, had her dance naked for him on the bed, played a pornographic movie on his television and sexually abused her in more than one manner.

“He told me that night in Joplin that he was going to leave my mom, but he wasn’t going to leave me,” the girl testified.


Assistant Prosecutors Bill Dobbs and Shellé Riley also called the girl’s mother, a deputy and a detective as witnesses for the state.

The girl’s mother told the court that she had let her daughter go with Glover because there had been no previous indications of any inappropriate desire for her daughter on the part of her husband. She said the first she learned of it was when her daughter called her from the truck stop in Joplin.

She said the girl at first would not tell her what had happened, other than that Glover had been drinking. She said her daughter was extremely upset, and she told her she needed to calm down and then call her back. When the girl called her again a few moments later, she told her: “Daddy’s trying to have sex with me.”

The mother said she didn’t believe she heard her correctly and asked her to repeat what she said. When she did, the mother told her to run inside the truck stop and hand the phone to the first adult she saw. Testimony showed that the girl did just that, the truck stop manager was put on the phone with the mother, and the Newton County Sheriff’s Department was summoned.

Deputy Brendon Lammers testified that the defendant told him at the truck stop: “I guess I’m going to have to get a new girlfriend.” Lammers said he asked Glover why, and he replied: “’Cause this is over.”


The prosecution also played an audiotape of an interview of Glover by Detective Oren Barnes during which the defendant admitted committing at least one sex act with the girl that night. He also came close to acknowledging both other acts that the girl alleged took place, although he claimed that he had not intentionally participated in either of those.

Glover claimed that he fell asleep and woke up in a compromising position with the girl, and that he pushed her off and told her to go call her mother and tell her what had happened.

Glover chose not to testify in his own defense. His public defender, Maleia Cheney, told jurors in closing arguments that her client’s contact with the girl had taken place in his sleep after drinking, just as he had told the deputy in the taped interview. Cheney suggested that the girl had exaggerated to her mother and law enforcement what had happened because she knew her mother and Glover were not getting along, and “this way she gets rid of the problem.”

Cheney introduced a letter into evidence that the mother had presented to her client after his arrest. The letter sought his consent to a divorce and the transfer of all their marital property to her.

Dobbs, the prosecutor, argued that Glover’s admissions to the detective in many ways meshed with the girl’s testimony as to what took place between them. The prosecutor told jurors that the trip was supposed to have been a fun and exciting adventure, and a pleasant memory for a 12-year-old girl involving someone she had come to trust and love as her father.

“And he has sullied not only that memory, but he has sullied that child,” Dobbs said.

Prior acts

THE JUDGE RULED before the trial that prosecutors could not elicit specific testimony as to what Delbert Glover allegedly did to his stepdaughter in other states during their trip because of its prejudicial nature. But the judge did allow testimony that there had been unspecified acts of a sexual nature in California and in Texas leading up to the alleged offenses in Missouri.

Text Only
Local News
  • 070114 St Mary's cross 3.jpg Crucifix returns after three-year absence

    The original crucifix at St. Mary’s Catholic Church has come home. It had hung behind the altar since 1968, until the 2011 tornado destroyed the church and nearly everything in it, along with the nearby rectory, school, parish center and more.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: SEK Art Fest a perfect excuse for ice cream and a stroll

    For the second year, my family and I took an “ice cream stroll” down Broadway on a perfect summer evening to see SEK Art Fest.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Camp offers classes for budding artists

    Oh, to be a kid again and have the opportunity to attend artCentral’s summer art camp.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Nixon signs child abuse legislation

    Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon last week signed a bill sponsored by state Rep. Bill Lant, R-Pineville, to help improve the state’s response in cases of child abuse and neglect.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • r071014peacelutheran4.jpg Rebuilt Peace Lutheran adds outdoor features in nature-centered ministry

    Katharine Redpath keeps a pair of red and black leopard-print rain boots in her car for use in her pastoral duties at Peace Lutheran Church. “I never thought it would be part of my uniform,” she joked on a recent rainy day as she pulled them on in preparation for another trek onto the church grounds. Since opening their new building in north Joplin last spring, church members have moved beyond the brick-and-mortar structure.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Joplin City Council schedules meeting with Wallace Bajjali

    The Joplin City Council will get its monthly update from representatives of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners when it meets for an informal session Monday night.

    July 13, 2014

  • Missouri’s Bright Flight scholarship to be fully funded for top students

    Missouri’s Bright Flight scholarship will be fully funded for top students this year for the first time since the 2009-10 academic year, officials with the state Department of Higher Education announced Friday.

    July 13, 2014

  • r071014newbiz5.jpg Study examines costs of starting businesses in area towns

    When Firehouse Pottery opened in Joplin this spring, it was just one of the hundreds of new businesses that launch in the Four-State Area each year. Charity Hawkins, a Joplin native, said she and her husband “wanted to do something that would be great” for their hometown and decided to open a business that catered to both youths and adults. But starting a new business is a high-risk gamble.

    July 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • 071314stmarysmove.jpg More than 100 volunteers turn out to move school to its new permanent home

    Staff and students of St. Mary’s Elementary School have been through a lot of changes together since their old school at 505 W. 25th St. was destroyed in the 2011 Joplin tornado. Second-grade teacher Bette Schoeberl said the temporary quarters were cramped and that it was sometimes hard to move around. On Saturday, Schoeberl and other staff members moved into their new school building.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fronts to bring cooler weather

    If you can make it through this warm weekend, you’re due for a break. With highs in the mid-90s Saturday and Sunday, and a heat index pushing close to triple digits, the weekend will be warm, but cool weather is on the way, according to Jay Colucci, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Station in Springfield.

    July 12, 2014

Must Read


New Kansas teaching license regulations would allow some individuals who have ample expertise but do not have education degrees to become secondary school teachers. Do you agree or disagree with that change?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter