A 38-year-old Winona man, Jason L. McClurg, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus three years for killing his wife on May 4, 2014. Howell County Associate Circuit Court Judge Truman Wiles presided.
A Howell County Circuit Court Jury found McClurg guilty on July 28 in the killing of his wife Stephanie D. McClurg, 37. The jury heard evidence that McClurg was having an affair and told his mistress on May 3, 2014 he was going to “get rid” of his wife, who was staying with her mother in Springfield, by giving her a mixture of his prescription medication mixed into Kool-Aid. McClurg stated he would trick Stephanie into drinking the mixture by telling the victim their two-year-old son made the drink and she should drink all of it so her child would not be upset. Later that day, McClurg carried out his plan at the home of the victim’s mother. However, the mixture only knocked the victim out and failed to kill her.
The next day, May 4, 2014, McClurg would try again at their home in Winona. Before traveling from Springfield to Winona, McClurg searched the internet for the term “deaths that was made to look like a accident” and visited websites of “murders made to look like accident” and making murder look suicide-accident.” In Winona, around 7 p.m., he left the victim alone at their home and visited his mistress, telling her he had given Stephanie another dose and was going to return to make sure she was dead. McClurg talked about leaving a pill bottle by the body to make it look like a suicide. At 8:13 p.m. after arriving at the home, McClurg called his mistress and advised his wife was dead. McClurg then called the victim’s mother to report the death. The victim’s mother became suspicious and retrieved from the trash the bottle McClurg had given his wife in Springfield. The bottler later tested positive for the presence of two of McClurg’s prescription medications, propranolol and cyclobenzaprine. At toxic levels, the drugs can induce seizures, irregular heartbeats and death. The autopsy of the victim later revealed Stephanie was killed by a toxic level of cyclobenzaprine which was prescribe to McClurg two months before the murders and he had been prescribed propranolol for over a year.
Jurors also heard that on July 4, 2014, McClurg escaped from the Shannon County Jail and was apprehend on July 6 inside a camper on his family’s property. The Winona police and the Mo. State Highway Patrol investigated the cases, which was prosecuted by Shannon County Prosecuting Attorney Jodie Brumble.