A third individual has been charged with the first-degree murder of a St. Robert woman. According to a news release issued Friday from the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), a third suspect in the case, identified as Anthony B. West, 49, of St. Louis, was apprehended in St. Louis Friday.
He has been charged with murder in the first degree and armed criminal action. He was placed in the Pulaski County Jail on a $1 million cash-only bond.
West is the third subject charged in the death of Laila D. Carpenter, 33, of St. Robert, which occurred Monday, July 15, at the Alpine Haus Motel in St. Robert.
On Thursday, the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Charles D. Howard, 29, of St. Robert, with murder in the first degree, armed criminal action, assault in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child.
Libby K. Charles, 43, of St. Robert, also has been charged with murder in the first degree and armed criminal action in relation to the incident.
Both Charles and Howard have also been placed in the Pulaski County Jail each on $1 million cash-only bonds.
The highway patrol reports that an investigation into the death revealed that an ongoing dispute apparently existed between family members of Charles D. Howard, 29, of St. Robert, Carpenter, and Brian T. Haggard, 32, also of St. Robert.
Through both phone conversations and text messages, the conflict among the parties escalated during the early morning hours of July 15. That argument prompted Howard to travel to the motel, where Haggard was known to be visiting Carpenter.
At approximately 6:45 a.m. that morning, Howard arrived at the motel, where he found both Haggard and Carpenter outside her room. It was then that Howard fired several rounds from a handgun toward the subjects as they attempted to take cover inside Carpenter’s room.
One of the shots fired by Howard struck and fatally wounded Carpenter.
The investigation also revealed that a 3-month-old child and the child’s mother were inside Carpenter’s room when the shooting occurred but were not injured.
The MSHP, Pulaski and Phelps county sheriff's departments, and the St. Robert and Rolla police departments are continuing the investigation.