Closure of Illusions Gentlemen’s Club

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: AMY FITE
Prosecuting Attorney
(417) 581-7915

OR

BRAD COLE
Christian County Sheriff
(417) 582-5330

DATE: July 17, 2020

RE: Closure of Illusions Gentlemen’s Club

OZARK, MO – Christian County Prosecuting Attorney Amy J. Fite and Sheriff Brad Cole announce the closure of Illusions Gentlemen’s Club.

Today the Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office working with the Christian County Sheriff’s Office completed two (2) cases stemming from an investigation into suspected criminal activity occurring inside Illusions Gentlemen’s Club. The investigation into the Nixa, Missouri strip club and adult cabaret began in 2019. To date, the investigation has resulted in both criminal and civil cases. One criminal case involved charges against one of Illusions’ owners. The civil case sought an injunction from the Court ordering the closure of Illusions as an illegally operating strip club. Other criminal and civil investigations against other suspects are ongoing.

Christian County Sheriff Brad Cole explained “I and my team of dedicated deputies and detectives spent countless hours addressing the crime and safety problems emanating from Illusions strip club. Their diligence and hard work over the last year, coupled with skilled advocacy from the Christian County Prosecutor’s Office, lead to the closure of Illusion’s strip club.”

Christian County Sheriff Office’s detectives found probable cause of various violations of criminal law and submitted them to the Christian County Prosecutors Office to review for formal charges. Christian County Prosecutors filed ten (10) criminal charges against Craig Winchell for illegally operating a sexually oriented business, maintaining a public nuisance and failing to register Illusions as a fictious business. Mr. Winchell accepted responsibility for these charges by pleading guilty this afternoon. He was sentenced by Christian County Associate Circuit Court Judge Bacon and will pay fines totaling $10,000 plus court costs and fees.

Craig Winchell is one of the owners of Illusions – owning both the Guin Road building and the sexually-oriented business. In an agreement with the Christian County Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Winchell agreed that a sexually oriented business (strip club) cannot operate at 755 Guin Road. In settling the civil suit, Mr. Winchell agreed that the strip club that operated at 755 Guin Road will not reopen.

“The hard work of the Christian County Sheriff’s deputies and detectives assigned to this investigation, with assistance from their law enforcement partners at MOCIC and Greene County Sheriff’s Office, eliminated a Christian County hot spot of criminal behavior. These deputies and detectives should be commended for their diligence and hard work” stated Christian County Prosecuting Attorney Amy Fite. “I am proud of my team of prosecutors and the entire staff at the Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office whose hard work alongside their counterparts at the Christian County Sheriff’s Office has made Christian County a safer place.”

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For Additional Information please contact Sheriff Brad Cole at 417-582-5330 or Christian County Prosecutor Amy Fite 417-581-7915

Kayla Fowler Found Guilty of Tampering 1st Degree and Resisting Arrest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: TIMOTHY J. MCDONALD
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
(417) 581-7915

DATE: July 16, 2020

RE: Kayla Fowler Found Guilty of Tampering 1st Degree and Resisting Arrest

OZARK, MO – Christian County Prosecuting Attorney Amy J. Fite announced today that KAYLA FOWLER formerly of Stockton, Missouri was found guilty on July 15, 2020 following a jury trial of tampering in the first degree and resisting arrest.  The Honorable Laura Johnson presided over the jury trial that commenced on July 13, 2020.  The defendant was charged with and tried on four counts – count I – tampering in the 1st degree, count II – possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine), count III resisting arrest, and count IV possession of controlled substance (marijuana).  At the conclusion of the jury trial and following deliberation, the jury returned verdicts finding the defendant guilty of tampering in the first degree, a class D felony, and resisting arrest, a class E felony and finding the defendant not guilty of the two counts of possession of controlled substances.   

The evidence offered during the jury trial included that on January 8, 2020, FOWLER fled in a stolen vehicle from officers attempting to stop the defendant, who at the time was a suspect in a theft in Republic, Mo. The defendant led multiple law enforcement agencies on a pursuit from Greene County to Christian County. In attempting to evade officers, the defendant operated the vehicle at a high rate of speed, drove into oncoming traffic, passed vehicles, and almost struck a marked patrol vehicle. To protect the lives and safety of the public, law enforcement ultimately employed the Tactical Vehicle Intervention (TVI) or “pit maneuver” to disable the vehicle and bring the chase to an end. The evidence included that the black Ford F250 operated by defendant had been stolen in Kansas City earlier in the year.  The owner of the vehicle testified he had not given the defendant permission to operate his vehicle.

Further, the State had charged the defendant as a prior and persistent felony offender.  In a hearing conducted without the jury being present, the Court found the defendant to be a prior and persistent felony offender.

Sentencing is set for September 11, 2020.  The range of punishment for the class D felony tampering in the first degree as a prior and persistent felony offender is 3 – 10 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine up to $10,000.  The range of punishment for the class E felony of resisting arrest as a prior and persistent felony offender is 1 day to 1 year in the Christian County Jail or two years to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine up to $10,000.

This case was investigated by the Christian County Sheriff Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Tim McDonald.  Mr. McDonald was assisted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Scottie Bowden, Victim Advocate Julie Harlan and Legal Assistant Kara Wishin.

Barry George Found Guilty at Jury Trial of DWI, Trespass

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: John M. Peacock
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
(417) 581-7915
DATE:  May 29, 2019

RE:  CHRISTIAN COUNTY JURY FINDS BARRY GEORGE GUILTY OF DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED AND TRESPASS IN THE FIRST DEGREE

OZARK, MO – The Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announces that BARRY GEORGE DOB:5/25/1964, of Sparta, Missouri was found guilty after a two-day jury trial held April 29-30, 2019. The jury trial was commenced before the Honorable Judge Laura Johnson.

The Christian County jury found the defendant guilty of both counts, driving while intoxicated and trespass in the first degree.  The jury deliberated for approximately an hour and forty-five minutes before finding the defendant guilty.  Formal sentencing is scheduled before the Honorable Judge Laura Johnson on June 25, 2019.

The defendant had two prior convictions for driving while intoxicated. These prior convictions for DWI make the defendant’s current conviction a persistent DWI offense. Driving While Intoxicated as a persistent offender is a class E felony. The range of punishment for an E felony is either a special term of incarceration in the Christian County Jail not to exceed one year or a term of incarceration in the Mo Dept of Corrections not to exceed four years and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000 dollars.  The range of punishment for trespass in the first degree of a class B misdemeanor is a term of incarceration in the Mo. Dept. of Corrections not to exceed six months and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.

The investigation of this case was handled by Christian County Sheriff’s Department Deputies Lachlan Hicks and John Wilkerson. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Peacock assisted by First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Janette Bleau.

Clayton Landrigan Sentenced to 15 Years in DOC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:   Anna L. Bunch, Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney  
                 417-581-7915
DATE:      May 3, 2019

RE:            CLAYTON LANDRIGAN SENTENCED AND REVOKED

OZARK, MO – The Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announces that on May 2, 2019, Clayton J. Landrigan, dob: 02/14/1993, was sentenced on a pending drug case and admitted to violating his probation on another drug case in front of the Honorable Judge Laura Johnson. 

Landrigan pleaded without a plea agreement to possession with intent to distribute on February 7, 2019, for an event that occurred on June 21, 2015.  Landrigan was found by officers with over 10 grams of methamphetamine in separate individual baggies.  Texts on the defendant’s phone indicated he was distributing methamphetamine. 

After reviewing a Sentencing Assessment Report and hearing arguments from the State and defense counsel, the Court sentenced Landrigan to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.  Defense counsel argued for probation and Drug Court.  The State pointed out his prior convictions and multiple violations while on probation.

The defendant received the maximum sentence for the class B felony charge.  The range of punishment was five (5) to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Landrigan also admitted to violating the terms of his probation on a prior case, and his previous sentences of five (5) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections were executed.  On his prior case, Landrigan had pleaded guilty to forgery and possession of a controlled substance. 

The sentencing and probation violation were handled by Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Anna Bunch. The cases were investigated by the Ozark Police Department.

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.