Amy Fite Recognized as Prosecutor of the Year

St. Louis, Missouri – September 26, 2018 – Christian County Prosecuting Attorney Amy Fite has been named Prosecutor of the Year by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (MAPA). The award was first presented at the MAPA annual meeting in August. Fite was further recognized September 26 at the Missouri Bar’s annual meeting on September 26th. The award was presented by MAPA Executive Director Jason Lamb. The presentation took place at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark in St. Louis, Missouri.

Amy Fite is in her second term as the elected prosecutor for Christian County. During this tenure, she has been named “Family and Sexual Violence Hero of the Year” in 2014 by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (MAPA) and been honored by the Missouri Victim Assistance Network in 2015 with its James P. Damos Award in recognition of her willingness to go above and beyond her designated duties in order to affect a positive change for victims. She is currently serving the second year of a two-year term as President of MAPA.

Members of the staff and representatives from the Regional Child Support Office with Amy after the ceremony. Left to Right: Andrew Hart (Legal Assistant), Lara Fors (Reg. Child Support), Anna Bunch (Ast. Prosecuting Attorney), Julie Harlan (Victim Advocate), Amy Fite, Rachel Hopper (Ast. Prosecuting Attorney), Shannon Stephens (Victim Advocate), Cheri Cobb (Reg. Child Support Office), Suzanne Frakes (Legal Assistant), Dale Tavares (Legal Assistant)

In addition to serving Christian County since 2011, Fite has more than 19 years of prosecutorial experience. She has served the people of Missouri in a variety of positions including at the Circuit Attorney’s Office for the City of St. Louis and in the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

MAPA Executive Director Jason Lamb (left) and President of the Missouri Bar Morry S. Cole (right) congratulate

The Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of crimes against the State of Missouri that occur within the geographical boundaries of Christian County, Missouri. Its mission is to seek and serve justice for the citizens of Christian County. The office consists of one elected Prosecuting Attorney, six Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, seven Legal Assistants, three Victim Advocates and one Investigator.

A copy of this press release may be found here.

Jury Finds Steven McMullen Guilty on Manufacturing More Than 35 Grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

Contact: Anna L. Bunch                                                                                                                   Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney                                                                           (417) 581-7915

 Date: September 27, 2018

 RE: CHRISTIAN COUNTY JURY FINDS STEVEN MCMULLEN GUILTY                                OF MANUFACTURING MORE THAN 35 GRAMS OF MARIJUANA                                AND UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

OZARK, MO – The Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announces that Steven McMullen DOB: March 1, 1960, of Nixa, Missouri was found guilty after a two-day jury trial held September 24-25, 2018. The jury trial commenced before the Honorable Judge Jennifer Growcock.

The Christian County jury found the defendant guilty of both counts: manufacturing more than 35 grams of marijuana and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.  The jury deliberated for approximately one and a half hours before finding the defendant guilty.  Formal sentencing was scheduled before the Honorable Judge Jennifer Growcock on November 28, 2018.

The range of punishment for manufacturing more than 35 grams of marijuana is normally 3 to 10 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine up to $10,000. However, the defendant is a prior drug offender and is therefore facing an increased range of punishment. The increased range of punishment is 5 to 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.  The range of punishment for the unlawful use of drug paraphernalia is 1 day to 1 year in the Christian County Jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.

The investigation of this case was handled by Nixa Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Anna Bunch.

A copy of this press release may be found here.

Jury Finds Michael Burge Guilty On Charges of Statutory Sodomy and Child Molestation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Amy Fite                                                                                                                              Prosecuting Attorney                                                                                                        (417) 581-7915

DATE: September 27, 2018

RE: CHRISTIAN COUNTY JURY FINDS MICHAEL D. BURGE GUILTY OF STATUTORY SODOMY 1st DEGREE OF A CHILD LESS THAN 12 AND CHILD MOLESTATION 1st Degree

OZARK, MO – The Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Offices announces that MICHAEL D. BURGE DOB: 12/16/1959 formerly of Ballwin, Missouri was found guilty on September 19, 2018 by a Christian County jury of statutory sodomy 1st degree of a child less than 12 and child molestation 1st degree.  A jury trial commenced before the Honorable Judge Jennifer Growcock on June 17, 2018 and concluded on June 19, 2018.

The jury retired to deliberate at approximately 6:44 p.m. and shortly before 10:00 p.m. returned a guilty verdict on each count.  Formal sentencing will be scheduled before the Honorable Judge Jennifer Growcock.

The range of punishment for statutory sodomy first degree of a child less than 12 is a term not less than ten years in the Missouri Department of Corrections or a life sentence.  The range of punishment for the child molestation in the first degree – class B felony is a term of 5 to 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.  In this case, the defendant was alleged, and found to be, a predatory sexual offender, and therefore is subject to an enhanced range of punishment for count I and II.  The enhanced sentence for each count is a life sentence in the Missouri Department of Corrections with eligibility for parole.  Per statute, the court shall set the term of years the person must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole.  Per statute, the term of years shall be any numbers of years to which the person could have been sentenced if the person was not found to be a predatory sexual offender.  In no event will a person found to be a predatory sexual offender receive final discharge from parole.

The investigation of this case was handled by Christian County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by First Assistant Kristen Tuohy.  Other members of the Prosecuting Attorney’s office assigned to this case include:  Shannon Stephens, Victim Advocate; Suzanne Frakes, Legal Assistant; Amy Zacek-Smith, Investigator.

A copy of this press release may be found here.

Doyle Hitchcock Sentenced To Seven Consecutive Life Sentences Plus Seven Years On Charges Of Forcible Sodomy, Forcible Rape, And Endangering The Welfare Of A Child

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Amy Fite, Prosecuting Attorney                                                                                     (417) 581-7915

DATE: September 13, 2018

RE: DOYLE HITCHCOCK SENTENCED TO SEVEN CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES PLUS SEVEN YEARS FOLLOWING GUILTY VERDICT BY CHRISTIAN COUNTY JURY.

OZARK, MO – The Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announces that DOYLE  E HITCHCOCK dob: 06/28/1963 formerly of Ozark, Missouri was formally sentenced by the Honorable Jennifer Growcock on September 12, 2018. After denying defendant’s motion for a new trial, Judge Growcock sentenced the defendant to the maximum sentence of a life sentence on each of the convictions for forcible rape and forcible sodomy totaling seven life sentences.  The Court ran these seven life sentences consecutive to one another.  The Court further sentenced the defendant to the maximum term of seven years on all six of the endangering the welfare of a child counts, running these counts concurrent to one another and consecutive to the life sentences.  Thus, the defendant was sentenced to a total sentence of seven consecutive life sentences plus seven years.

Hitchcock was found guilty on June 7, 2018 by a Christian County jury of five counts of forcible sodomy and two counts of forcible rape and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree.  A jury trial commenced before the Honorable Judge Jennifer Growcock on June 4, 2018 and concluded with a guilty verdict on June 7, 2018.

The range of punishment forcible sodomy and forcible rape is a term not less than five years in the Missouri Department of Corrections or a life sentence.  The range of punishment for the endangering the welfare of a child is a term of incarceration up to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine up to $5,000.

The investigation of this case was handled by Christian County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Tuohy.  The staff assisting this case included:  Victim Advocate Shannon Stephens, Legal Assistant Suzanne Frakes, and Investigator Amy Zacek-Smith.

A copy of this press release may be found here.