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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Rolla man charged in 22-year-old homicide

  • Twenty-two years after the body of Jerry Wayne King was found near a cave in Phelps County, law enforcement officers have arrested a man they believed killed him.
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  • Twenty-two years after the body of Jerry Wayne King was found near a cave in Phelps County, law enforcement officers have arrested a man they believed killed him.
    William Earl Harrison, 49, has been arrested on the charges of first-degree murder, a Class A felony, and armed criminal action, an unclassified felony, according to the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department.
    King’s body was found in early July 1992, near the entrance to the Gourd Creek Cave located near the end of what is now County Road 7270, southwest of Rolla.
    King, who was from Cuba, Missouri, was 26.
    According to a Rolla Daily News article from July 8, 1992, Don Blankenship, the county sheriff at the time, said it appeared King died of an apparent gunshot wound to the head.
    Harrison, who was 28 at the time of the incident, was arrested for murder in 1992, but after a number of court proceedings, he was released and the case soon turned cold, a news release from the sheriff’s office states.
    Then, last year the Phelps County prosecuting attorney’s office requested the sheriff’s office look at the case.
    The sheriff’s criminal investigative unit, assisted by an investigator from the prosecutor’s office, conducted numerous interviews and examinations.
    The case was then presented to a Phelps County grand jury who returned an indictment that a majority of the jurors felt enough evidence had been presented to prosecute the case.
    A warrant was issued for Harrison and on Friday, he was arrested. Missouri Case.net, the state’s online court records system, states his bond was set at $500,000.

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