Killer convicted in decades-old murder of Eldon teenager

Posted on 11 October 2018 at 1:37pm

LEBANON - A jury Thursday found Martin Priest guilty of first-degree murder in the 1984 death of 15-year-old Tammy Sue Rothganger of Eldon.

A witness, who was 13 at the time, said he was there when Priest hit Rothganger in the head with a wrench until she lost consciousness, then raped her and strangled her to death.

Prosecutors charged Priest with the murder while he was in a Kansas prison serving a life sentence for a separate killing. 

In the Rothganger death, Priest is charged capital murder, meaning he could be sentenced to death.

The trial was held in Laclede County after a change of venue.