Convicted murderer gets change of venue in 1984 murder case

2 years 1 month 3 days ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 3:57:13 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
By: Steve Lambson, News Content Manager

TUSCUMBIA - A convicted murderer charged with the killing of an Eldon girl in 1984 got a change of venue for his case Thursday.

Martin Priest, 60, will stand trial in Laclede County after a judge approved a change of venue from Miller County. The Miller County Prosecutor, Ben Winfrey, will stay on the case, and the Missouri Attorney General's Office is helping.

Priest was already in prison when prosecutors charged him in connection with the death of the girl, identified in court documents as T.R. The probable cause statement said at the time of T.R.'s death, Priest was her mother's live-in boyfriend.

A witness of the crime, identified by the initials "D.N.," told investigators Priest hit T.R. with a wrench, knocking her unconscious, before raping her and strangling her until she died. D.N. and Priest then reportedly hid the body, returning the next day to bury it in an unmarked grave.

Priest is currently at the Miller County Jail after a transfer from a correctional facility in Lansing, Kansas. Priest was convicted of first-degree murder in December 1984.

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