Homicide investigation in Butler County - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Homicide investigation in Butler County

It happened in a home in the western part of the county on County Road 466. It happened in a home in the western part of the county on County Road 466.
Christopher Richards (Source: KFVS) Christopher Richards (Source: KFVS)
An autopsy on Richards' body was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. An autopsy on Richards' body was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
BUTLER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A 38-year-old man was killed early Wednesday morning and police have one person in custody.

The Butler County Sheriff's Department is investigating the homicide of Christopher Richards of Poplar Bluff.

It happened in a home in the western part of the county on County Road 466.

Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs says 41-year-old Matthew C. Coble is now a suspect in the early morning homicide in Butler County. He is in police custody, but has not been formally charged.

38-year-old Christopher Keith Richards was shot and killed.

According to Sheriff Mark Dobbs the two were long time friends and were living together at 617 County Road 466.

The two were known in the past to drink heavily and fight. On Wednesday morning officers say there was a physical altercation, but this time it turned deadly.

"As far as we can tell thus far, the shooter was attempting to leave and retreated to his vehicle when he was not allowed to leave by the victim," said Sheriff Mark Dobbs. "That's when the gunshot happened."

Dobbs says the incident happened outside the residence in the driveway near the shooters truck.

"It's a senseless tragedy that didn't have to happen, but unfortunately a lot of times when alcohol is entered into the equation things happen that normally wouldn't even among friends," said Dobbs.

Investigators are still combing over evidence trying to piece together whether the shooter was acting in self defense, whether it was an accident, or something else.

Shannon Smith and Chad Hale live across the street from where the incident happened.

"My buddy Chad and I happened to come out on the front porch and as soon we did we heard the gunshot," said Shannon Smith.

The two men said they went across the road to investigate.

Chad Hale said, "I asked him (Matthew Coble) do you need help. He said yes I just shot my friend." Hale said that's when he looked down and saw Christopher Richards lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head.

"They were friends, he kept calling him his brother," said Smith. "He (Coble) was highly intoxicated, but remorseful."

An autopsy on Richards' body was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. 

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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