Assault

Three West Plains residents have been charged with felonies after allegedly assaulting or attempting to assault members of their household or current or former romantic partners.

Vernon Lee Simpson, 62, Sixth Street, is facing first-degree domestic assault and armed criminal action charges after reportedly holding a pistol to a woman's head and threatening to kill her if she didn't stop yelling during a domestic altercation on Oct. 20.

The alleged victim told West Plains Police Department Cpl. Josh Wichowski that after Simpson threatened her, she ran outside the house, thinking he was going to try to kill her and called police. She said during the course of their argument Simpson got a .25-caliber handgun and screamed, “Stop yelling or I'm going to blow your head off," adding she was afraid to stay alone in the house with him because she was at risk of being harmed or killed.

Simpson was arrested Oct. 20, released on $50,000 bail the next day and has pleaded not guilty, according to court records.

Woneka Ann Williams, 49, Woods Street, has been charged with first-degree attempted domestic assault and armed criminal action. A warrant was issued for her arrest Oct. 21 with a $10,000 bond, according to court records.

Additionally, court records show Williams is wanted for a charge of probation violation related to a 2017 conviction of two counts of possession of a controlled substance, for which she received a five year suspended imposition of sentence and five years of supervised probation.

Officer Conner Burnes reported he was dispatched to investigate a report of a reckless driver Oct. 11, in the area of Broadway at St. Louis Street. Burnes stated that dispatch advised the driver had attempted to strike a pedestrian and parked the vehicle at MFA Propane on Broadway.

The alleged victim, Williams' boyfriend, told Burnes that Williams was intoxicated and told him she had stolen the vehicle she was driving and tried to run over him by steering the vehicle toward him, going off the road in the process.

Justin Albert Coffman, 38, Private Road 6853, is charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree domestic assault after reportedly choking the mother of his children, witnessed by at least one of the children.

Cpl. Shannon Sisney stated he arrived at a home on Lanton Road on Oct. 6 and the alleged victim told him Coffman, her ex-boyfriend, had been there overnight at her request to help her with their children, but when she woke him he assaulted her, choking her to the point she wasn't able to speak.

Sisney reported he saw a red mark on the woman's neck that was consistent with being choked.

There are protection orders in place against Coffman for the woman and three children in the home, and Coffman reportedly convinced her she couldn't call the police about the assault because she allowed him to come to her home.

Violating the court order led to the first-degree burglary charge against Coffman, since he was legally not allowed to be there.

The woman also allegedly admitted to Sisney she had used methamphetamine in the previous four days, and had called Coffman several times in the past when she was sick so he could help with the children.

A children's division worker asked to help with the case stated a 5-year-old child had disclosed his father had been assaulting his mother and he wanted to get a broom to hit his father with to make him stop.

A warrant was issued for Coffman Oct. 22 with $25,000 bail, and an additional warrant for Coffman was issued Nov. 3 on a charge of probation violation on a 2020 three-year suspended execution of sentence on a 2019 conviction of delivery of a controlled substance, according to court records.

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