Charges of first-degree assault resulting in serious injury and armed criminal action have been filed against Casey Lee Tetrick, 30, Ridge Crest motel, who reportedly shot another man multiple times Monday evening on County Road 1750, northeast of city limits.
Tetrick is held on $100,000 bail, according to court documents.
A second suspect, Watawna Montana Brashers, 28, also of Ridge Crest motel, faces the same charges after it was learned she might have had contact with the victim and arranged to meet him earlier that evening.
Brashers was arrested at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday at the West Plains Police Department by Howell County Deputy Chad Johnson. Her bail is also set at $100,000.
Investigator Buddy Thompson of the Howell County Sheriff’s Department, in documents filed with prosecutors, stated that deputies responded at about 8:53 p.m. Monday to the Snappy Mart at the junction of Highway 14 and U.S. 63 after a report the alleged victim Brian Smith, 40, Mammoth Spring, Ark., had been shot and driven himself to the location.
Smith was described as alert and oriented, and, before being taken for medical treatment, reportedly told responding officers and emergency medical personnel he was shot by Tetrick on a county road between the Snappy Mart and Dake Storage. He was transported by EMS to the West Plains Regional Airport in Pomona, and airlifted for treatment to Cox Medical Center South in Springfield.
West Plains Police Department Cpl. Josh Wichowski, one of the first officers on the scene, spoke with Smith and provided Thompson with more details about the incident based on that conversation. Smith named the suspect and further told Wichowski he was driving down a county road near Dake Storage and stopped to help a vehicle that was broken down, describing a dark colored Chevrolet Tahoe.
Smith said Tetrick got out of the Tahoe and started shooting at him, adding that Brashers was driving the vehicle. The crime scene was eventually located on County Road 1750 just north of County Road 1380 with items recovered from the scene that were consistent with damage to Smith’s car from being struck with bullets, Thompson reported.
Tetrick and Brashers were found at the motel at about 11:23 p.m. Monday, and Tetrick allegedly first denied knowing about any assault on Smith and said he had been at the motel since early that morning, but Thompson noted during a search of Tetrick’s vehicle the engine was noticeably warm.
No evidence was found in the vehicle, but Thompson noted the interior was extremely cluttered with tools and clothing, including young children’s garments.
When questioned, Brashers reportedly first gave roughly the same account as Tetrick, but later allegedly admitted she was supposed to meet Smith, had not been able to locate him and ran out of gas on a county road. She reportedly said she contacted Smith for help, and he never showed up.
During a second search of the alleged crime scene during daylight hours, several expended cartridge cases, an item of children’s clothing and a tire repair tool were found near each other in and around the ditch.
During questioning, when Tetrick was asked where the gun was, he claimed not to know, then reportedly said it “wasn’t supposed to happen that way,” and that he hoped Smith was alive. He then reportedly asked to speak to an attorney.
Brashers also reportedly denied knowing where the gun was or how the alleged incident was meant to happen versus how it ended. Brashers then invoked her right to remain silent and asked to speak to an attorney, Thompson reported.