Pettis County Prosecutor wants death penalty in rape case

Posted: Jul 18, 2014 7:08 PM by Matt Kalish, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
Updated: Jul 18, 2014 8:08 PM

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CLAY COUNTY - The Pettis County Prosecutor said in a press release on Friday the county will seek the death penalty for a man charged with first-degree rape.

Joseph Arbiter was charged in May with ten charges including first-degree rape, attempted sodomy and unlawful use of a weapon in relation to the murder of Marshall resident Mandy Black.

The Pettis County Sheriff's Department found Black's remains on May 4, when deputies found her hands, arms and one leg in a storage container next to Arbiter's trailer. A medical examiner later ruled Black's death was a homicide and took place several months before deputies found her remains.

Arbeiter was being held at the Pettis County Jail when the remains were found, and remains in jail after a Pettis County judge refused to grant bond.

Prosecutor Jeff Mittelhauser also said in a news release Arbiter's trial will now be held in Clay Country after Arbiter filed a request to change venues. He did not give a reason for the change in location, which can be requested by either party in a criminal case.

The trial does not have a start date.

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