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Bolivar, Mo. man charged with first-degree murder; authorities say it was premeditated

(Source: Gray News)
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3) - Prosecutors charged a Bolivar man with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a family member.

Ryan Richardson faces charges for first-degree murder, armed criminal action, possession of a defaced firearm and defacing a firearm.

Polk County deputies responded to a home Saturday on State Highway KK in Bolivar following reports of a death. Deputies arrived to find the suspected shooter, Ryan Richardson, in a physical altercation with a family member. According to investigators, Richardson stated he had shot his uncle for touching a family member inappropriately. Authorities say the victim was lying in the middle of a driveway with a shotgun wound to the lower chest area. He was partially covered with a green tarp and a tan shower curtain. A towel was tied around his legs to hold his feet together. Deputies also observed a blue wheelbarrow next to the body. A vehicle was backed up to the body of the victim with the trunk open. Authorities say it appeared Richardson had attempted to use the wheelbarrow to load the body into the trunk, but was unable to do so.

Richardson agreed to speak to police. He stated he had been walking with a family member from his house to when Richardson confronted him about touching a family member inappropriately. According to investigators, Richardson said the man became irate and got into his face then walked off. Richardson then said the victim turned around and began walking towards him and telling Richardson to pull the gun on him. Investigators say Richardson then admitted to shooting him. In the interview, investigators say he stated the man stumbled back towards the house and fell. Richards told deputies that he was still breathing so he shot him in the head with a pistol, per court documents. Richardson said he had attempted to put the body into a wheelbarrow to move it, but was unable to lift it up. He said he went home to shower. Then sat in his car until the family had confronted him.

According to detectives, Richardson said he planned on putting the body in the trunk of the car to move it. He said he planned to take the body to an old freezer in the yard.

Authorities believe that Richardson admitted to luring the victim away from the house. They say he then admitted to shooting the man with a shotgun, followed by shooting him in the head with a pistol when he discovered that he was still breathing.

Investigators say Richardson also admitted to removing the serial number from the altered shotgun to make it untraceable with the intent to use it to shoot someone who later turned out to be this victim. Authorities say Richardson’s plan to commit this shooting and the violent nature in which it was carried out constitutes first-degree murder. In addition, he was charged with armed criminal action and possession of a defaced firearm.

If convicted, Richardson could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning.

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