Prosecutors drop two charges in Miller County murder

5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, July 25 2019 Jul 25, 2019 Thursday, July 25, 2019 6:54:00 PM CDT July 25, 2019 in News
By: Emily Wolf, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
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COLUMBIA — The Miller County prosecutor's office confirmed today it has dropped accessory to murder and armed criminal action charges against two men involved in a Miller County murder case.

Prosecutors previously charged Daniel Cole, 54, and William Lucas, 42, in the death of Aaron Brantley. 

Online court documents show Lucas is still charged with abandonment of a corpse. The documents did not say if Cole is still facing the same charge. 

Brantley was reported missing in February by his wife, who said she last heard from him on February 8. At the time, friends told Becky Brantley that Aaron was going to the Lake of the Ozarks area.

Later in February, Brantley's body was found in a wooded area with a gunshot wound to the head. Miller County deputies charged Cole, Lucas and Christopher English in connection to the murder. 

According to previous KOMU reporting, Brantley was planning to meet up with English at a Kaiser bowling alley. Documents showed Becky reportedly called English after finding his number on their phone records. English told Becky he was supposed to meet Aaron, but Aaron never showed up.

On March 6, Osage Beach Police told the Miller County Sheriff's Office they had a person who said he was involved in Brantley's homicide. The person said he was with Lucas and English at Lucas' home February 8, where English reportedly met Brantley. English came back and said he shot Brantley, then demanded everyone help load the body into Brantley's vehicle, according to the witness. 

Documents filed against Lucas said he admitted to knowing about Brantley's death and helping to move the body. Receipts showed Lucas bought a tarp, work lights and lime, which can speed up the decomposition process and conceal the homicide.

English is still charged with first degree murder, armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse. He goes before a judge in September for the murder charge.

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