FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: TIMOTHY J. MCDONALD
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
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.