The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 1, 2011

Jury convicts officer of manslaughter

CASSVILLE, Mo. — A jury convicted Southwest City police Officer Brian Massa of manslaughter Thursday in the shooting death of Bobby Stacy and recommended that he serve three years in prison.

Jurors deliberated a little more than two hours at the conclusion of a four-day trial before finding Massa, 35, guilty of first-degree involuntary manslaughter. They could have opted to convict the defendant of a lesser offense, but they agreed with prosecutors that Massa acted recklessly when he fired four shots into the fleeing 26-year-old Arkansas man’s vehicle on March 28, 2010.

Involuntary manslaughter in the first degree carries up to seven years in prison in Missouri. During the sentencing phase of the trial, jurors decided that Massa should serve three years for the crime. Circuit Judge Tim Perigo set a sentencing hearing for Jan. 6.

“We’re very pleased with the verdict,” said Larry Stacy, the victim’s father.

He expressed gratitude for the work of the jury and David Hansen, the assistant state attorney general who prosecuted the case.

“I think justice was served,” he said.

The family of Bobby Stacy attended each day of the trial in the company of an attorney and a private investigator from Tulsa, Okla. The attorney, Shannon McMurray, said she anticipates filing a wrongful-death lawsuit soon on behalf of the family.

Bobby Stacy suffered a single gunshot wound to the head and died at a Tulsa hospital the day after the shooting. The fatal shot from Massa’s .45-caliber handgun entered Stacy’s skull just above and behind the right ear, with fragments coming to rest in the brain near the front of the skull, according to the testimony of the forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy.

Evidence presented at the trial included videos retrieved from a dashboard camera in Massa’s patrol car and from a camera he was wearing on his uniform.

Massa maintained that Stacy tried to run him down with the Chevrolet Suburban he was driving after the vehicle spun into a ditch during a pursuit east of Southwest City. The Suburban did scrape the patrol car as Stacy was driving back out of the ditch.

But a Missouri State Highway Patrol investigator found that the four bullets fired at Stacy by Massa traveled from the back to the front of the Suburban as it was passing or had already passed the officer in the roadway.

Massa chose not to testify on his own behalf during the guilt-or-innocence phase of the trial, but he took the witness stand in the sentencing phase, asking jurors to consider the hardship incarceration would present his family as a father of three children.

Hansen used the opportunity to cross-examine Massa about a previous conviction for misuse of official information while he was working as a dispatcher in McDonald County in 2008. He had been fined $350 for the misdemeanor offense, which did not stop Southwest City from hiring him as a police officer.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • r073114rebuildjoplin3.jpg 30 volunteers a day would be a ‘game-changer’ for Rebuild Joplin

    Betty and Louis Wirick, both 79, say they are grateful to have survived the 2011 tornado as it tore down part of their home of 25 years on South Bird Avenue. But three years later, they are frustrated.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Event for veterans on tap at Crowder

    For area veterans who have returned home from more than a decade at war, the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks hopes to send a simple message at an event this weekend: Welcome home.

    August 1, 2014

  • Fair to feature goats, chickens and decorated bras

    Along with the usual fair sights, sounds and smells — livestock, poultry, produce and the like — there will be something a bit unusual at the Cherokee County American Legion Free Fair this year: Decorated brassieres. And pink. Lots of pink.

    August 1, 2014

  • Damien D Doxley 051314.jpg Prison term meted out in carjacking case

    A Newton County judge assessed a defendant in a Joplin carjacking case seven years in prison Friday on a conviction on a charge of tampering with a motor vehicle.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 080114 Older worker1_72.jpg Co-workers, friends honor nurse with 50-year career

    Wilma Massey has worked a half century in health care and, even at the age of 74, she’s the first to arrive at work each morning.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Amendment 7 backers tout safety, new jobs; foes say special interests to benefit

    The constitutional amendment, sent to the voters by the Legislature this year, would temporarily increase Missouri’s sales tax by three-quarters of 1 percent, raising an estimated $5.4 billion for the next decade to fund transportation projects.

    August 1, 2014

  • Brownback names 3 Kansas Board of Regents members

    Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday named a former veteran Kansas House member and two attorneys to the board overseeing the state’s higher education system.

    August 1, 2014

  • Grant to fund solar energy system for PSU’s Plaster Center

    An $80,000 grant from Westar Energy will fund solar panels to provide both energy and education at the Robert W. Plaster Center, now under construction at Pittsburg State University.

    August 1, 2014

  • Survey seeks views on Joplin’s future goals

    Residents are being asked to fill out a survey on priorities for Joplin’s future. The effort was inspired by a meeting of community leaders last month. Survey forms are available at the Joplin Public Library and online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/jointjoplinareaplanningsurvey.

    July 31, 2014

  • Habitat slates volunteer work days

    In the wake of the 2011 tornado, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has been a partner with organizations and individuals in the construction of 86 new houses. But what’s also needed, Executive Director Scott Clayton said, are repairs to area homes.

    July 31, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Do you plan on voting in the Aug. 5 elections being held in Missouri and Kansas?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter