Keytesville man faces jury trial for second-degree murder charge

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A three-day jury trial has been scheduled for a Keytesville man, charged in Chariton County with second-degree murder, related to a shooting in Keytesville in January of last year.

Fifty-one-year-old James Michael Johnson Senior’s trial is set to begin on October 16. A pretrial conference is slated for September 6. Johnson faces additional charges, including the felonies of unlawful possession of a firearm, delivery of a controlled substance, and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Another individual implicated in the shooting is 53-year-old Sherri Laws of Keytesville. She faces charges of second-degree murder, armed criminal action, delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a weapon, and conspiracy to commit a felony. Laws entered a guilty plea last month, with sentencing scheduled for February 8.

The Highway Patrol previously reported that charges were filed after 38-year-old Jacob Abney of Grandview suffered gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. Johnson also sustained gunshot injuries, was transported to the Moberly Regional Medical Center, and later airlifted to the University Hospital in Columbia.

The investigation commenced following a dispatch of Chariton County deputies to a Keytesville residence in response to an altercation.

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