Murder charges dismissed in the 2020 death of a Clever man

Local News

OZARK, Mo. – Murder charges have been dismissed against two of four women charged in the death of a man from Clever in 2020.

Gracey Jean Fipps and Jeana Nichole Fipps have each pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of stealing as part of a plea agreement. They are to be sentenced on Jan. 25, 2022, in Christian County Circuit Court. The two are currently out on bond.

Court documents show they and two codefendants were charged in March of 2020 with second-degree felony murder, delivery of a controlled substance and first-degree burglary after they allegedly drugged the man and robbed his home of cash and valuable items.

The Fipps’ sister Randi Highfill and a fourth woman Pachetta Tolliver remain charged with the original counts.

Randi Highfill and Pachetta Tolliver mugshots

Highfill is scheduled for trial in January. Her next court date is Dec. 15, 2021, for a pretrial conference. She remains in custody at the Christian County Jail.

Tolliver has no scheduled court appearances, according to online court records. She is currently out of jail on a $10,000 bond.

According to court documents, the four women went to a man’s home, identified as JG, and drugged him and robbed him. The incident happened on Mar. 8, 2020.

According to court records, Highfill had been texting JG. He had asked Highfill to stay the night at his house and asked how much it would cost. Investigators found Highfill and her phone number were listed on sexually-oriented websites with advertisements posted in the Springfield area.

Court documents say Highfill had agreed to stay the night with JG on Mar. 8. Investigators found Highfill had texted others that night about staying at JG’s. Two of whom were her sisters, Jeana and Gracey Fipps.

Gracey told investigators Highfill asked if she could drive Highfill and her girlfriend, Tolliver, to JG’s house. Highfill agreed to pay Gracey $100 for driving them. Jeana decided to ride with Gracey with the other three.

Before heading to JG’s house, the four went to Highfill’s drug dealer, Elmer “Duck” Freeman, to get what she thought was heroin. Once the four got to the house in Clever, Highfill and Tolliver went inside and drugged JG and started searching his house for money.

Highfill told investigators it took about 30 minutes for the drugs to kick in, then JG passed out. She and Tolliver looked for money in JG’s bedroom, kitchen, and living room.

The probable cause statement says Highfill and Tolliver ran back to the car with money, marijuana, and a Thomas Jefferson book. During the robbery, Highfill asked Jeana to search how much the book was worth. The book’s title is “The Writings of Thomas Jefferson.” Jeana found the book was worth $8,000. JG’s sister later told investigators JG had several antique books about Thomas Jefferson.

JG was later found dead at his home on Mar. 14. Investigators say toxicology reports found JG had Fentanyl in his system, not heroin.

When Highfill was asked what she did with the money, she told investigators she gave $100 to her sister for driving, $75 went to Duck for the drug that killed JG, Highfill also bought $150 worth of drugs, and the rest, she says, probably went to groceries.

Court documents say that failure to appear warrants were issued six different times to Highfill, but shortly after JG’s death, Highfill left Missouri. In June, authorities arrested Highfill in California and brought her back to Christian County around Jul. 10.

Investigators found Highfill had a history of stealing from people she would stay the night with for money. Court records share three different Springfield incidents, where Highfill took pictures of or stole personal identification items and stole cars.

In one instance, Highfill was at the scene of a drug overdose in Springfield and a Springfield Police corporal documented seeing Highfill going through the person’s pockets but Highfill told the corporal she was giving the person CPR.

Investigators also found Facebook messages before the events of Mar. 8, where Highfill was asking her sister Gracey if JG was “legit.” Gracie responded, saying their mother, Christina, had robbed JG before. Highfill reached out to Christina.

“Don’t rob him; do him right, Randi plz,” Christina told Highfill four days before Highfill robbed JG.

Two women, Randi and Pachetta, are in Christian County Jail; the other two are not in custody. Ozarks First has reached out to the sheriff’s office for their status.

Highfill is in jail with a bond of $1 million, and Tolliver has a bond of $100,000.

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