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Just minutes before the start of his jury trial, Marcus Corey, 27 of Rolla, decided to plead guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison for Possession of a Controlled Substance.  The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney, Brendon Fox.

On November 18, 2014 SPO Shane Switzer was dispatched to a residence on South Hwy 72 for a disturbance.  Upon arrival, it was determined that Corey had fled the scene following the fight.  He was later located in the 1300 block of Winchester where he was arrested.  Switzer then located Percocet in Corey’s pocket for which Corey did not have a prescription.

“SPO Switzer did a great job on this case,” said Fox.  “It is unfortunate when a young man throws away his life because of drugs.”



On Friday David Cole Nash, 29, of Rolla, was found guilty of two counts of Domestic Assault in the Second Degree.  The trial took place in Pulaski County before Judge Kerry Rowden as Nash exercised his right to change venue.  The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney, Brendon Fox.

On July 7, 2012, Nash brutally attacked an ex-girlfriend when he became enraged that she would not let him borrow her car.  Nash threw her to the ground and choked her nearly to the point of losing consciousness.  Later, after Nash had stopped and seemed to be leaving, he forced his way back inside and tackled the victim, slamming her head into the wall.  “I am proud of the victim in this case.  Too many victims of domestic violence suffer at the hands of their abusers and don’t come forward.  I hope this case will shine a light on the issue and encourage other victims to make the call and seek help,” said Fox.

Mr. Nash is set for sentencing on September 10, 2015.  Domestic Assault in the Second Degree is normally a class C felony, but because of Mr. Nash’s prior history he will face up to 15 years imprisonment on each count. 



Brendon Fox, the Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney announced that on Monday Joseph Perou, 39, of Rolla, was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for scamming elderly citizens. Previously on June 4, 2015, Perou pleaded guilty to two counts of Financial Exploitation of the Elderly, class B felonies. However, due to 12 prior felony convictions the range of punishment was enhanced.

Beginning in October 2014 and continuing for several weeks, Mr. Perou exploited several local, elderly citizens by promising to complete construction work. Mr. Perou never completed any work but instead ran off with partial payments. He continued exploiting new victims in an attempt to try and pay back previous victims. Mr. Perou was able to scam citizens out of more than $50,000 before he was caught.

“Mr. Perou is the most prolific financial criminal I have ever prosecuted. The number of victims state-wide over the years is staggering,” said Fox. “I find it particularly egregious that he was targeting the elderly, and want to encourage everyone to work together to protect the elderly from predators like Mr. Perou.”



Brendon Fox, the Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney announced that yesterday a Phelps County jury of eight women and four men deliberated just fifteen minutes before finding Ryan K. Guske guilty of one count of Driving While Revoked. Guske had previously been convicted of the same offense three times prior.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Nicholas P. Chlysta.

Guske, 41, of Rolla, Missouri was observed by a Deputy of the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department operating a pickup truck bearing improper license plates in the early morning hours of April 20, 2014 on Hwy 63 and CR 5240. Upon the initiation of a traffic stop, Guske was identified as the driver, and when asked to provide his driver’s license and proof of insurance, Guske admitted, “You know I don’t have one.” The Deputy knew Guske’s license was revoked, based on two prior occasions where the Deputy had conducted a search of Guske’s driving status confirming and notifying him that his driver’s license was revoked.

“In Missouri driving is a privilege, not a right. Without a driver’s license, Guske was driving on our streets without insurance coverage putting us all at risk. This repeat offender showed a blatant disregard for the law,” said Chlysta following his first jury trial since rejoining the prosecutor’s office in February.

Judge William Hickle has set the case for sentencing on August 23, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.  Because of his repeated violations, Guske faces up to four years in prison.


Jessica Edwards, 31, Sent to Prison for Drugs



On June 8, 2015, Jessica Edwards, 31, of Rolla, Missouri was sentenced to 14 years in the Department of Corrections. The case was prosecuted by Phelps County Senior Assistant John Garrabrant and Assistant Prosecutor Nicholas Chlysta.

In an earlier hearing the Defendant admitted to the Court that she had violated her existing probation for Possession of Methamphetamine, by committing the new law offense of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute. At the revocation hearing, Judge William E. Hickle granted the State’s Motion to Revoke and ordered the defendant to serve seven years in prison.

Subsequently, Jessica Edwards entered a plea of guilty to the class B felony of Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute. Mr. Chlysta offered a factual basis for the Court describing items seized during the execution of a search warrant on Edwards’ residence by the Missouri South Central Drug Task Force. Additionally, the results of a Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Laboratory report were presented showing that the defendant was in possession of forty two (42) separate plastic baggies packaged for distribution all containing Heroin. Edwards was sentenced to seven additional years in the Department of Corrections for that crime.

Reached for comment, Prosecuting Attorney Brendon Fox expressed his satisfaction with the result. “My office takes the distribution of Heroin in our community very seriously, and hopefully this type of lengthy sentence will make other criminals think twice before selling this poison to our friends and families.”

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