Douglas County, Mo. sheriff details weekend pursuits after homicide

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 8:18 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A wanted man is jailed in Ava after Douglas County Deputies spent the weekend chasing him down. Convicted criminal William Wolfe, Jr. could soon be facing new charges, possibly even murder.

Wolfe Jr., 54, is accused of stealing a truck, running from police and being under the influence, which are all violations of his probation for other previous convictions.

“I mean, were all over eastern Douglas County and northern Ozark County for about 48 hours," said Sheriff Chris Degase.

Those two days involved two chases, one that lasted overnight. It all started after deputies found 84-year-old Clarence Clark dead in his home and Sheriff Chris Degase saw William Wolfe driving away from the scene in the victim’s truck.

“We’re going to do what we need to do to keep people in Douglas County safe and if that means we’ve got to chase them, we’re going to chase them and take them into custody," Degase said.

The first chase started on a dirt road and lasted for miles. Wolfe got away. Ozark County Deputies tried to catch him later that night. Saturday, Degase found Wolfe wrecked out in Douglas County.

“He was actually in a hole in the ground and he was covered up with a camouflage poncho," he said.

Wolfe had just been released from the Douglas County Jail on September 11. He had violated his probation then, too. Court records show a history of guilty pleas for drug charges, tampering with equipment and assault.

“It is frustrating, we have dealt with him over and over," Degase said.

More charges could be coming.

“We’ve got some work to do. We’re confident we have the right person in custody for this," Degase said. "We don’t want to get the cart ahead of the horse, depending on the autopsy tomorrow.”

Degase said Wolfe and the victim, Clarence Clark, did know each other. He said witness statements and evidence from the autopsy could lead to murder charges for Wolfe.

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