UPDATE 4/11/23 — Martin has a disposition hearing and bond appearance hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 25.
Stauffer has a bond appearance hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 2.
Original article, published March 24, 2023:
MORGAN COUNTY, Mo. — Four teens are facing charges of hate crimes after filming themselves shooting a church.
Two of the people involved are juveniles aged 14 and 17. The other two are Zacory Thomas Stauffer, 18, and Bryce D. Martin, 18.
Stauffer is charged with three felonies:
- First-degree property damage.
- Armed criminal action.
- Second-degree property damage motivated by discrimination.
Martin is charged with four felonies: the same three as Stauffer, as well as a charge of unlawful use of a weapon.
Court documents state that a man called the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office at 3:50 a.m. on March 18 to report that he witnessed a car pull up to the ClearView Church — a Mennonite church — on Highway E and someone from inside fire a gun at it. A deputy arrived and found multiple 9mm shell casings on the ground. Inside the church, the deputy discovered that multiple bullets had entered the building through the walls and windows.
Later that morning, around 9 a.m., deputies returned to collect more evidence. They found more shell casings and counted at least 52 bullet holes in the church.
At 11 a.m., someone contacted the sheriff’s office with information about the shooting. That person said they had a Snapchat video that showed four males in a Pontiac Grand Am or Gran Prix drinking Busch Light and shooting guns outs of the windows. They were all identified.
Deputies used the phone number they had on file for Martin to ping his location near Stone Crest Mall in Osage Beach at 1:38 p.m. The Osage Beach Police Department was put on alert and at 2:30 p.m., four males were arrested after the police found the Pontiac at a Steak ‘n Shake.
Martin told law enforcement that there was a handgun in the Pontiac’s center console. He also told them that the other three males fired the gun — not him. He only shot a field and the ground, but he did agree to shoot up the church at the time.
Martin added that they vandalized a church outside of Latham in Moniteau County before heading to ClearView Church.
When Stauffer was interviewed later that day, he told law enforcement that Martin and one of the juveniles were the ones who shot the church.
Stauffer mentioned that they vandalized a third church in Versailles before ClearView. He said they shot the floor and pews. Martin said they all entered the third church and flipped over pews but did not fire their guns.
Both Stauffer and Martin are being held at the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office without bond. Stauffer is scheduled to have a bond appearance hearing at 9 a.m. on March 28. Martin’s is scheduled for the day after.