UPDATE 12/20/22 — Torres has a jury trial scheduled for 8 a.m. on June 5, 2023. The trial is scheduled to last until June 9 or until completed.
Torres also has a criminal setting scheduled for 10 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2023.
Original story, published Dec. 30, 2021:
BRANSON, Mo. — Branson Police have announced charges in a double homicide that happened in May of 2021. Officers say the suspect is also tied to armed robberies that happened over Memorial Day weekend.
Miguel Melendez Torres, 34, has been charged with two counts of murder in the second degree in the deaths of Krystle Buhl and Richard McMahan. Charges of first-degree armed robbery and armed criminal action are also linked to the May 29 double homicide behind Famous Dave’s. He is also charged with robbery in the first degree and armed criminal action for the robbery in downtown Branson.
Police say during the course of the homicide investigation, it was discovered that Melendez-Torres and a 26-year old female associate were also identified as suspects in the armed robbery that occurred in downtown Branson on May 26, 2021. The female was found out of state in St. Augustine, FL, was arrested without incident on September 30, 2021, and was also extradited to Missouri.
Melendez-Torres, was located in the Boston, MA area and was arrested without incident on October 5, 2021. He was extradited to Missouri and remains in custody at this time. The female associate, who police did not name, is not facing charges in the homicide.
The victims, Krystle Buhl and Richard McMahan were both servers at Famous Dave’s Restaurant on 76 Country Boulevard. They were shot and killed on May 29, 2021.
A news release from the Branson Police Department says investigators have spent countless hours working on the case. In August, the department released video of a suspect near the scene. Since then, the department says, investigators have been able to develop more leads.
“These crimes have impacted the families and our community and our sense of safety. I am thankful for the assistance of the community, their support, and patience as we have progressed through this investigation,” said Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews. “I am extremely proud of our entire department and our law enforcement partners as they remained focused on facts and followed the evidence from the start,” said Chief Matthews.
Branson Police say officers are confident that there is no ongoing threat to the community related to this incident. This is the department’s first homicide since 2016.