Wife, Son Charged in Poplar Bluff Man's Death

November 24, 2003 - Posted at 3:12 p.m. CDT

ELLSINORE, MO - As Ralph Hanna stepped into his back yard after deer hunting in the woods behind his southeast Missouri home, a single high-velocity bullet pierced his chest, killing him.

Now, Hanna's wife and son are charged with murder.

Arraignment is tomorrow for 26-year-old Shawn Curtis Hanna of Poplar Bluff and his mother, 47-year-old Denise Hanna of Ellsinore.  Authorities say the son confessed.

Both are charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.  Police believe that while both mother and son conspired in the killing, Shawn Hanna pulled the trigger.

Ralph Hanna was a well-known auto garage owner in Poplar Bluff, hosted a radio show on car maintenance, even taught a college auto mechanics class.

Authorities believe the shooting was financially motivated.

(Copyright 2003 by The Asssociated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)