Suspect charged with murdering his grandmother pleads insanity
HOLTS SUMMIT - A teen charged with murdering his grandmother in a January incident pleaded not guilty Friday by reason of insanity.
Ryan Koebel, 17, faces charges including one count of first-degree murder, four counts of armed criminal action and three counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer.
Prosecutors filed the charges the day after Robert Cates called 911 when he found his wife, 60-year-old Karen Cates, had been stabbed to death.
The suspect, Koebel, and a .38 caliber handgun were missing from Cates' home on Nieman Road in Holts Summit, according to the probable cause statement. Authorities reported they located Koebel near the house, walking along Highway 54 with a gun in his hand. Koebel reportedly shot at police and highway patrol officers, who then ran into the teen with a patrol car.
David Hartsfield, the Cates family's pastor at Shiloh United Methodist Church, said the community is "standing by Ryan" regardless of whether he committed the crime. "We continue to write Ryan and support him as we continue to support the family as they are in our midst."
A friend of the Cates family for five years, Hartsfield described the victim as a selfless woman who always was willing to lend a helping hand.