Jury finds man not guilty in deaths of father, son from Laclede County

CAMDENTON, Mo. -- "Two people are dead, and nobody is going to pay the price for this," Mark Gerber said after hearing the jury's "not guilty" verdict for Matthew Rumbaugh.

Rumbaugh had been charged nearly five years ago with the murders of Gerber's brother Chad, and nephew, 15-year-old Riley Gerber.

When the Gerbers were killed in 2014, investigators said Rumbaugh broke into their home and shot them, saying Rumbaugh was tired of waiting for Chad Gerber's wife Jennifer to leave him.

Jennifer told the jury this week she and Chad were in bed when they heard a noise. They woke up, and he was shot. Then she said she and Riley struggled with Rumbaugh to get the gun from him when Riley was shot.

Rumbaugh said during his testimony none of that was true, but rather he was taking the blame for Jennifer, who told him she would kill herself if her kids were taken away.

"The story that Jennifer Gerber told us about Chad being shot was clearly not true," said Rumbaugh's attorney, Adam Dowling.

During closing arguments today, Dowling told the jurors Jennifer Gerber has been lying about the case and her involvement since that day, saying there are holes in her story, and saying she slipped up several times during interviews after she was given immunity in 2017.

His attorney also called the investigation by the Laclede County Sheriff's Office back in 2014 "amateurish." He said it was a mistake that Jennifer Gerber was never tested for gun powder residue that day.

Mark Gerber says that is one thing he agrees on with Rumbaugh's defense attorney.

"There are certain things I think they did right, but from the very beginning, I never had any faith in the Laclede County Sheriff's Department," Gerber said. "I probably never will."

Dowling said with all of those factors, there was enough reasonable doubt, meaning the jury could not in good faith find Rumbaugh guilty.

"What these people say in this courtroom, whether it was the verdict we wanted or not, my brother and my nephew aren't coming back," Gerber said.

KY3/KSPR's Andrew Havranek spoke to Rumbaugh as he was getting into his son's car to leave the Camden County jail. Rumbaugh and his son declined to go on camera but said he was "as happy as he could be."


ORIGINAL STORY: A Camden County jury found a man not guilty on all counts in the shooting deaths of a Laclede County father and son in 2014.

It took the jury just two hours Monday to deliberate a verdict in the case against Matthew Rumbaugh. He faced two counts of murder and two counts of armed criminal action in the deaths of Chad Gerber, and his son Riley Gerber, 15, at their Laclede County home on July 8, 2014.

Investigators argued Rumbaugh broke into the Gerber's home to kill Chad Gerber because he was tired of waiting for Chad's wife, Jennifer, to leave him. Jennifer Gerber, who prosecutors granted immunity in this case, told the jury she and Riley had been struggling to get the gun away from Rumbaugh when Rumbaugh shot Riley in the head.

Rumbaugh took the stand Thursday and Friday, saying instead Jennifer is the person who shot both Gerbers, but he was taking the blame for Chad's death after he said Jennifer told him she would kill herself if she lost her kids.

Rumbaugh's defense counsel argues the investigation into the Gerbers' deaths was "amateurish" when Jennifer was not checked for gunshot residue that day.