Prosecutor drops, refiles charges in Miller County murder case

7 months 5 days 8 hours ago Monday, April 08 2019 Apr 8, 2019 Monday, April 08, 2019 11:00:00 PM CDT April 08, 2019 in News
By: Steve Lambson, KOMU 8 News Content Manager

COLUMBIA - Miller County Prosecutor Ben Winfrey filed a new case against a Chicago man accused in a tri-state drug deal and murder in 2018.

Tyler Worthington was found shot to death in a rural area near Tuscumbia in June. Authorities later identified Joseph McKenna as the suspect, and he was arrested in Chicago.

McKenna was previously charged with second-degree murder for Worthington's death. Winfrey dismissed that case and filed the new one on April 3 with elevated charges, including first-degree murder, armed criminal action and tampering with a witness. Winfrey said in a press release the changes happened because of "additional information" that came to his attention.

Court documents in the case said Worthington and McKenna worked together to try and distribute marijuana oil disguised in vapor pen cartridges. Worthington reportedly flew to Chicago in early June to meet McKenna, and the two later drove separately to Missouri and delivered their products to two locations. Records show each man's vehicles passing through toll stations out of Chicago early on June 4. Deputies said a man identified as Tyler Kroll was with McKenna in his truck during the trip. Later that same day, only McKenna's truck went back through the toll stations; the car Worthington rented did not, though Worthington was reportedly planning to fly back to California from Chicago.

The updated probable cause statement includes details from deputies' interviews with McKenna in which he said he and Kroll followed Worthington outside of Chicago, where they loaded the marijuana oil and cartridges into Worthington's car. McKenna denied going to Missouri.

The statement also said McKenna was arrested in August 2018 in Arkansas, where police found him with a gun and nearly 70 pounds of marijuana. Forensic tests done in April 2019 found the gun McKenna had with him in Arkansas was the same that fired a shell casing recovered at the scene of Worthington's death.

On April 2, a witness in the investigation told authorities McKenna called him and threatened him, telling him to "watch his back." McKenna was reportedly angry about the witness talking to investigators.

The statement concluded that McKenna planned to kill Worthington over payments for prior drug deliveries, and that McKenna lured Worthington out of California and to Missouri to kill him.
Kroll was charged with first-degree murder in February.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The LGBTQ community, along with several organizations, will celebrate Columbia's ban on conversion therapy. "Conversion therapy" is... More >>
41 minutes ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 7:29:00 AM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Russell Boulevard Elementary School will host a ceremony Wednesday honoring the life of a Columbia mayor who died... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 3:24:00 AM CST November 13, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One group is fighting to have citizens vote directly on whether or not they want more Missourians... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 10:27:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Fire Department said a resident alerted firefighters to two people were stuck in a car... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8:59:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Dan White hasn't always been proud to recognize himself as a Vietnam veteran. "Things weren't very good... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8:58:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in EmVP
BOONE COUNTY - Crews restored power to nearly 800 Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives customers Tuesday night. The power... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 7:19:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - City manager John Glascock named De'Carlon Seewood as Columbia's new deputy city manager Tuesday. Seewood will... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 5:45:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - One passenger was injured when a Columbia city bus slid on a patch of ice Tuesday morning. ... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 4:37:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Winter started with an early preview in October , but it went full throttle at the start of... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 4:20:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in Climate
COLUMBIA - A combination of low temperatures and steady snowfall left roads slick and icy this morning around Columbia. ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 3:13:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA ­– KOMU 8, Mid-Missouri’s CW and Mediacom agree to a new, multiyear agreement well before expiration of their current... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 3:10:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — People around Missouri were able to see a fireball in the sky around 9 on Monday night. ... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 1:53:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department is now streamlining information sharing for emergency situations through "Smart 911." ... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 1:19:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright have agreed to a contract for the 2020 season,... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 12:29:24 PM CST November 12, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Judge Tracy Gonzalez issued an order Tuesday denying bond reduction for a man suspected in the disappearance of... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 10:36:08 AM CST November 12, 2019 in News
ATLANTA (AP) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was admitted to a hospital on Monday evening for a surgery... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 5:30:00 AM CST November 12, 2019 in News
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Drew Lock will get the chance to salvage his rookie season in Denver and show Broncos... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 5:07:57 AM CST November 12, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Veterans from three major wars flew to Washington D.C. early Tuesday morning for the final Central Missouri Honor... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 3:53:00 AM CST November 12, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 21°
9am 27°
10am 31°
11am 34°
12pm 38°