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UPDATE: Two People from St. Robert Charged in Fatal Shooting

ST. ROBERT, Mo. -- Charles Howard and Libby Charles, who live together in St. Robert, are now each charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laila D. Carpenter, 33
ST. ROBERT, Mo. -- Two people now face murder charges following a deadly shooting in St. Robert earlier this week.

Charles Howard, 29, and Libby Charles, 43, who live together in St. Robert, are now each charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and first-degree assault. Howard also faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. Court documents say the last charge is for firing a gun in a room where a child was sleeping.

Sheriff Ron Long says Laila D. Carpenter, 33, was shot to death in St. Robert early Monday morning. Carpenter, who is from St. Robert, was found shot to death inside the Alpine Haus Motel and Apartments at 632 Old Route 66 shortly before 6:45 a.m. A 911 call led police to the scene.

According to KRCG News, the caller reported seeing four people in a black four-door vehicle at the scene. When St. Robert police arrived on the scene they Carpenter dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

An investigation of the scene at 632 Old Route 66 turned up the Carpenter's cell phone and several spent shell casings.

According to court documents (read above), during an interview with authorities; 29-year-old Charles Howard said he had been involved in an ongoing dispute between his family, Carpenter and 32-year-old Brian Haggard.

Howard said the dispute involved verbal threats and the exchange of threatening text messages. Messages on Carpenter's cell phone and witness statements confirm an escalating dispute.

Court documents say that Howard admitted that he and three other people went to Alpine Haus with the intention of settling the dispute. Howard identified the other three people as 26-year-old Jeffrey Berkshire, 49-year-old Anthony West and 43-year-old Libby Charles.

Witnesses told authorities that two days before the homicide Berkshire traded narcotics for a nine millimeter handgun.

Court documents say that on the morning of July 15, West drove his black Ford Explorer to a parking lot near the Alpine Haus. Berkshire then gave the gun to Howard.

Howard told authorities that as they approached the motel, Haggard fired shots. Howard said he returned the gunfire. However, court documents say another witness told them that they never saw a firearm in Haggards possession. Haggard also told authorities that he did not have a gun at the time.

Howard told authorities that after the shooting all four returned to West's car, but the vehicle wouldn't start. Howard and Berkshire fled the scene on foot and West and Charles stayed at the car.

Once West and Charles got the car started, they picked up Berkshire and Howard. On July 17, Berkshire led authorities to the location where he was picked up and the handgun was recovered under a log.

Berkshire has been charged with drug-related offenses. No charges have been filed yet against West.

The Pulaski County Sheriff, St. Robert and Rolla Police Departments, as well as the Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control, are involved in the investigation. 

Both Howard and Charles are held in the Pulaski County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

Additional information courtesy: KRCG
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