[The video above is from KOLR10’s Today’s Top Headlines]
UPDATE 3/29/23: OZARK, Mo. – A trial is scheduled for January of 2024 for the eighth of nine people accused in the death of a woman forced into a Lawrence County well before she was shot to death in 2020.
Steven Chase Calverly, who appeared in court Tuesday (3/28/23) for a hearing on motions, is set for a jury trial beginning Jan. 16, 2024 in Christian County on a change of venue from Lawrence County, where the shooting occurred.
He is charged with first-degree murder, assault, robbery, kidnapping and four counts of armed criminal action in connection with the death of 27-year-old Sarah Pasco on Aug. 16, 2020.
Prosecutors say the Aurora woman was one of two forced to get in a well where they were shot. Pasco was shot in the head and died instantly. The other woman, who was also shot, hid under Pasco’s body and played dead until the man who shot her and another suspect left.
Seven of the people accused in the death case have been sentenced, including most recently Siera Dunham, who was given 15 years for armed robbery and armed criminal action. Others have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 to 40 years.
A ninth defendant, Frankie Sheridan, is to appear in Lawrence County Circuit on August 14, 2023, for a plea hearing or trial setting.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Two more men accused in connection with the death of a woman forced into a Lawrence County well before she was shot to death have each been sentenced to 32 years in prison.
Andrew Cypret, 27, of Billings, and Lyle B. Delong, 25, of Theodosia, were sentenced under plea agreements to 27 years for second-degree murder and five years for kidnapping. Each had originally been charged with several additional counts of armed criminal action and robbery. Those were dismissed under the agreement.
They are among nine people accused of the death of 27-year-old Sarah Pasco in 2020. Prosecutors say the Aurora woman was one of two forced to get in a well where they were shot. Pasco was shot in the head and died instantly. The other woman, who was also shot, hid under Pasco’s body and played dead until the man who shot her and another suspect left.
Also accused in the death are Gary Hunter, 24, of Mount Vernon, who was sentenced to 30 years for second-degree murder and five years for kidnapping; Diona Parks, 26, of Stotts City, who was sentenced to 30 years for second-degree murder and 10 years for kidnapping; Christina Knapp, 38, of Stotts City, sentenced to 15 years for kidnapping and 10 years for robbery; and Kimberly Kay Henderson, 47, of Stotts City, sentenced to 25 years for robbery.
Still facing prosecution in the crime are:
- Siera Dunham, 18, of Mount Vernon. set for a jury trial to being March 28 in Jasper Co.
- Frankie Sheridan, 27, of Aurora, who has a pre-trial conference on April 4 in Stone County.
- Steven Calverley, 30, of Republic who has a hearing on May 3 in Christian County
Background in the case:
According to a probable cause statement submitted to prosecutors by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident began in Stotts City at the corner of Mt. Vernon Street and Center Street when Gary Hunter walked up to a truck with two women inside. Hunter asked if he could get in, and the driver let him. Investigators say Once he was in the truck, Hunter put a pistol to the head of one of the women, Sarah Pasco, and told the other woman to drive.
The three drove to the home of Christina Knapp in Lawrence County. Deputies say Hunter knew Knapp. Charging documents say Hunter told Knapp to grab his AR/AK-type gun from a black Ford Explorer. Once Knapp brought Hunter the gun, according to investigators, he told the two women in the truck to get out. The women refused. Sarah Pasco and Hunter started to argue, leading Hunter to fire the AR/AK at the truck. He ordered the two again to get out of the truck, and they did.
Investigators say Andrew Cypret, who living on the property of Christina Knapp, came out to see both female victims digging graves in Christina’s yard.
“Andrew Cypret was handed the AR/AK type firearm, and he set in a lawn chair and watch (the victims) dig the holes, with Gary Hunter proclaiming he was going in the house to get a .22 to cap them,” the PC statement says.
Also, at the Knapp property was Siera Dunham. Siera arrived there with her boyfriend, Frank Sheridan. Frank was there to help Gary Hunter bandage a wound he had suffered earlier in the day. After that, Dunham talked with Hunter saying she wanted the sunglasses that Sarah Pasco, one of the victims, was wearing.
Hunter took the sunglasses and gave them to Dunham. At this point, investigators say, Pasco and the other victim were getting into the trunk of Cypret’s car. Deputies say they aren’t sure what led to that moment. Documents show Dunham then asked for the shoes that Sarah Pasco was wearing.
“Gary Hunter told Siera Dunham ‘NO’ Confidential Victim 2 (Sarah) was going to need them where they were going,” the PC statement says.
After the two victims were in the trunk, Hunter took the shoes off Sarah and gave them to Dunham, according to investigators.
While this was happening, Kimberly Henderson, Cypret’s mother, came to the property, found the keys to the truck, and gave them to Gary saying, “You are going to be needing these.”
The suspects then drove the Toyota Corolla with Pasco and the other female victim in the trunk following Hunter, driving the victim’s truck, to an abandoned well west of Miller, Missouri. Once they stopped, Hunter told Lyle Delong, Diona Parks, and Cypret to take the truck and drive off. Delong, Parks, and a man named Steven Calvarley were riding with Andrew in the Corolla.
Deputies say after Hunter told the three to leave the area in the truck, he told Pasco and the other victim to get in the well.
“Where is Haley?” asked Hunter, according to the probable cause statement.
“I don’t know,” Sarah responded.
“You can thank Haley,” Hunter responded as he proceeded to shoot Sarah in the head with his handgun, causing her to die instantly, according to investigators. The other victim hid under Pasco. She was shot, and played dead until Hunter and the other suspects remaining on the scene left.
Documents show as Hunter was leaving, he called Cypret and told him to “light up the truck or you are really going to screw me.”
Cypret shared the message with Delong and Parks. Investigators say Cypret gave his shirt to Delong, who then stuffed it in the gas reservoir while Parks gave him a lighter to light the shirt on fire, causing the truck to burn. Authorities found the burned truck in Dade County.
Once Hunter had left, the woman who was shot and survived got out of the well and called authorities, telling them what had happened. A member of the Miller Rural Fire Protection District found the body of Sarah Pasco in the well Sunday night.