Murder charge against Vernon County man accused of having wife killed dropped

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NEVADA, Missouri — The state attorney general's office has dropped a murder charge against a Vernon County man who was accused of having his estranged wife killed.

The Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/1x8cucs ) reports that Assistant Attorney General David Hansen filed documents in court this week dismissing the first-degree murder charge against 59-year-old Bob Beisly II without prejudice, meaning the charge can be filed again if new evidence is found.

Beisly, a rancher, had been accused of paying Jeremy Maples, a hired hand, $10,000 to kill 47-year-old Belinda J. Beisly in July 2009. In a probable-cause affidavit, Maples detailed how Beisly allegedly approached him about committing the crime on while they were working together in a pole barn and a second time while they were in Beisly's vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Maples denies that he is the one who killed Beisly's wife, even though he says he was in the victim's home on the night of the killing. Maples is charged with first-degree murder and remains in custody. He scheduled to stand trial in July.

Prosecutors had been relying on a statement that Beisly's son allegedly gave to investigators that implicated his father in the crime. According to Beisly's attorney, Tyce Smith, his son ultimately recanted his statement.

The defense filed a motion in recent weeks to have Beisly's murder charge dismissed on grounds that depositions taken in the case revealed that potentially exculpatory evidence had disappeared.

Smith said "It's difficult for them to make the case with the evidence they have."

According to Smith, Beisly may return to his home in Vernon County this week.


Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com

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