SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A man accused of killing his partner of 37 years has been ordered to have a mental evaluation.
Lilburn Warren Motley, a 66-year-old Springfield resident, is accused of shooting and killing 61-year-old Lavonna Haddock at their home Monday, December 6th.
According to the probable cause statement, Motley initially told investigators that he had reassembled and loaded his gun after cleaning it and was beginning to put it away under his pillow when he accidentally pulled the trigger and hit Haddock.
The couple’s son-in-law claimed he heard a gunshot and looked over to where they were sitting and arguing on the couches to see Motley holding his gun under a pillow and Haddock slumped over lifeless. The son-in-law then checked Haddock for a pulse and left the house, calling 911.
When officers arrived on the scene, they found Haddock with a gunshot wound and pronounced her dead on the scene. Officers then spoke with Motley, who told officers he could only raise one hand because of his disability. Motley explained that he had been in a relationship with Haddock for 37 years, but they had never officially gotten married.
The officer interviewing Motley asked him about his claim that he was unaware that his gun was loaded when he had previously described cleaning, reassembling, and then loading his gun before placing it under his pillow. Motley replied, “Case closed on that one,” according to the probable cause statement.
The officer interviewing Motley then told him that he had not found evidence of the gun being cleaned recently. The officer also mentioned that the bullet trajectory did not match the position Motley had said the gun was in. The probable cause statement says that Motley replied, “I just shot her to shut her up, then.”
Investigators played a recording of Motley alone in the interview room. While alone, officers say Motley made a statement to himself indicating that he had warned Haddock before shooting her.