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Man Charged With Murder in MSU Hit and Run Death

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Murder and other charges have been filed against a Springfield man accused of pursuing his ex-girlfriend's auto at the time she struck and killed a bicyclist near the MSU campus.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Murder and other charges have been filed against a Springfield man accused of pursuing his ex-girlfriend's auto at the time she struck and killed a bicyclist near the MSU campus.

Blake Basten, 24, was charged today with the felonies of murder in the second degree, domestic assault in the second degree, tampering with a motor vehicle in the first degree, unlawful use of a weapon, property damage in the first degree, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, and resisting a lawful detention, according to a release from Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson. 

The charges stem from a fatal collision in which a Chevrolet Impala driven by Shannon Smith struck bicyclist Zachary Gibson, 23, of Springfield at the intersection of Kimbrough Avenue and Bear Boulevard about 6:45 p.m. Nov. 17. Gibson died in the accident.

Basten, who Patterson said was driving a stolen red Jetta at the time of the accident, left the scene and Smith was charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident when she was apprehended the day after the accident.

She told investigating officers that she was being pursued by her ex-boyfriend in another vehicle when she struck the cyclist, according to the probable cause statement filed in her case.

She told officers she left the scene because she was afraid of her boyfriend and "scared of being in trouble for the crash." 

She abandoned the car on Edgewood and took a cab from the area, but was arrested the following day.


Four days later, Basten was apprehended driving the Jetta after he attempted to elude police and was involved in a crash on West Chestnut Expressway.  He was first charged with leaving the scene of the Nov. 21 accident and resisting a lawful detention. He has been held in the Greene County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond since that arrest.
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