Records suggest authorities knew of suspect’s link to Old Cabin Shop theft" class="popup" style="padding:10px;text-decoration:none" data-toggle="new-window" data-new-window-width="500" data-new-window-height="300" title="Twitter"> Records suggest authorities knew of suspect’s link to Old Cabin Shop theft" class="popup" style="padding:10px;text-decoration:none" data-toggle="new-window" data-new-window-width="500" data-new-window-height="300" title="LinkedIn"> Records suggest authorities knew of suspect’s link to Old Cabin Shop theft" style="padding:10px;text-decoration:none" data-toggle="new-window" data-new-window-width="500" data-new-window-height="300" title="Pinterest"> Records suggest authorities knew of suspect’s link to Old Cabin Shop theft&body=https://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/img-src-http-www-joplinglobeonline-com-images-zope-new-gif-border-0-records-suggest-authorities/article_77d2dc7c-e276-5058-91e3-e2e09ad2a58f.html" style="padding:10px;text-decoration:none" title="E-mail">

A Jasper man who has been accused of slaying a rural Carthage couple had come to the attention of county authorities less than two weeks after the murder on a related theft case.

More than eight months would pass before he was charged in that theft and with killing the couple.

Darren J. Winans, 21, was charged today with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of first-degree burglary in the fatal stabbing of Robert and Ellen Sheldon in October.

Winans was charged last week with the Sept. 23 theft of a rifle from the Sheldons’ business in rural Carthage.

Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn this afternoon said that Sept. 23 theft likely made Winans think the couple would be “an easy target,” prompting him to revisit the couple’s home Oct. 11.

Dunn today said it appeared that burglary was the apparent motive for Winans and a Springfield man, Matt D. Laurin, 19, going to the Sheldon home and business in October. The pair are accused of stabbing the couple that day.

Winans, along with Zachary Townsend, also of Jasper, are each charged with one count of Class C felony theft of a firearm after the pair allegedly made off with a rifle from the Sheldons’ Old Cabin Shop on Sept. 23.

But while Townsend was charged in that case on Oct. 22, Winans was not charged until July 1 of this year.

Townsend, court records show, also told the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department that Winans had been with him when the gun was stolen.

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