Stoddard County Man Sentenced in Rape, Murder of Poplar Bluff Girl

JANUARY 25, 2007 - Posted at 4:48 p.m. CST

BLOOMFIELD, MO - A Stoddard County man has admitted guilt in the rape and death of his 12-year-old cousin.

Steve Chipman, 19, pleaded guilty earlier this week to reduced charges of second-degree murder and forcible rape in the death of Miranda Dowdy of Poplar Bluff.  Authorities say the victim was Chipman's cousin.

Chipman was sentenced to 30 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on the murder charge, and an additional 30 years on the rape charge.

The plea came only days before Chipman was to appear in court for a jury trial.