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Laclede County prosecutor charges homeless man for death of Lebanon man July 2

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 9:11 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2020 at 4:49 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -

The Laclede County prosecutor filed murder charges against a homeless man in the death of a Lebanon man.

Dustin Lee Combs faces charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and felony stealing in the death of Mark Pitts. A deputy arrested Combs in Washington County, Mo. on Sunday.

Investigators believe Combs shot and killed Pitts at his Lebanon home on July 2.

“We conducted several interviews which led us to a “street” name for a possible suspect and information he had been in jail in Virginia,” said Sheriff David Millsap. “We contacted the Winchester Virginia Police Department and they identified Combs as person who had that nickname and matched the description given to us by Combs’ associates at the Red Fox Motel. Combs was positively identified as a person who was to meet with the victim in the parking lot of a local business the night Mark Pitts was murdered.” For obvious reasons we cannot go into great detail regarding the investigation, but we are confident in the case we have presented to the Prosecutor.”

Court documents indicate the meeting was drug related.  Surveillance video showed Pitts leaving his home late July 1st. Then later, surveillance video at a bank showed someone in the passenger seat.  Pitts truck returned to his home on Highway YY, but was seen leaving just 8 minutes later. Pitts was found dead the next morning.

Investigators learned the man who set up the meeting told Combs that Mark Pitts was a sex offender.  A records search shows Pitts was convicted for having child poronography. Combs’ brother told investigators that in the past, Combs said, all child molesters should be killed.

“Our victim was a registered sex offender, and I think that plays a part in this investigation and part of the motive of the homicide,” Millsap says.

Investigators say Combs is homeless and travels all over the country, but frequents the Lebanon area because he has family here. The Laclede County Sheriff’s Office also worked with Lebanon Police, law enforcement in Arkansas, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, as they do in most major cases.

Investigators say a Washington County deputy found Combs in the victim’s pickup truck stolen from the home on Sunday. Combs was armed, and fled on foot and fought with the deputy, biting him on the hand, before being arrested.

A judge did not set a bond for Combs. His next court appearance is set for July 15th.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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