Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Motion: Jalen Vaden statement should be tossed because he asked for Judd McPherson

In a motion to suppress filed Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court, the attorney for Jalen Vaden says her client's statements should be tossed out because he asked for a lawyer.

Vaden, 22, Carl Junction, who is charged with second degree murder and felony child abuse in connection with the death of three-year-old Jayda Kyle, signed a waiver of his rights at 12:55:18 a.m. December 6, according to the motion, but immediately afterward asked, "Is Judd here?"

Vaden was referring to Judd McPherson, who besides being Jayda Kyle's maternal grandfather is also a  lawyer.

When he asked for McPherson, attorney Tracey Martin said in her motion, he was "invoking his right to counsel during the interrogation."

Martin pointed out that the officers were fully "aware and familiar with Judd McPherson and his status as a criminal defense attorney, therefore defendant's request for his attorney was not equivocal or ambiguous."

Martin said Vaden did not "voluntarily and knowingly waive his right to counsel" since he immediately indicated he wanted McPherson there.

Vaden is being held in the Jasper County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond- $750,000 cash or surety and $250,000 cash only.

The abuse that led to Jayda Kyle's death took place November 30 in the home shared by the child's mother, Devyn Kyle and Vaden at 405 Meadow Lake Drive, Carl Junction. The child died December 2 at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

In the motion to suppress, Martin asked that a hearing be held 9 a.m. Monday, April 2. Online court records indicate at this point the next hearing in the case is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, April 16.

Judge David Mouton has scheduled the trial as the second case out on the June 25 docket. If it is not held then, it will be the first case on the July 9 docket.

The trial is expected to last five days.

Previous posts

Bond set at $1 million for Jalen Vaden, trial may be as soon as June or July

Despite social media claim, Judd McPherson was not at daughter's home the night Jayda Kyle was abused

Recordings of interviews with Jaden Valen, Devyn Kyle among items turned over to defense during discovery process

Gag order expected in Jalen Vaden case

Reporter/Carl Junction City Councilwoman threatens Jayda's Beat founder, says Vaden guilty, McPherson not involved
Press conference claim: Jalen Vaden confession to Jayda Kyle murder was coerced

Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney outlines evidence against Jalen Vaden
Jalen Vaden to Jayda Kyle's father: I pray that you know I didn't do this to her

Family of accused Jayda Kyle murderer suspects outside manipulation as SMB, GoFundMe shut down accounts

Explosive court documents claim Jayda Kyle's mother turned her death into a social media event

Jayda Kyle's mother to answer questions under oath; defense to add Judd McPherson as a witness

Dankelson refuses to recuse from Jayda Kyle murder case, says he does not have a close relationship with Judd McPherson

Jalen Vaden's lawyer asks for change of judge, cites Dankelson's close relationship with Judd McPherson

Jalen Vaden bond decision delayed, preliminary hearing waived
Accused killer of Jayda Kyle to waive preliminary hearing
Bond motion filed for accused killer of three-year-old Jayda Kyle

Jasper County Sheriff: We are still investigating Jayda Kyle's death

Children's Division documents: Grandfather attempting to manipulate Jayda Kyle murder investigation

Juvenile Office documents: Jayda Kyle suffered bleeding from brain, severely torn retina, probably already brain dead when she arrived in K. C.

Some thoughts on the Joplin Globe's article on the Jayda Kyle murder investigation

Probable cause: Carl Junction man abused three-year-old, left her on the floor bloody, unconscious

Jayda Kyle obituary

State audit to focus on Department of Revenue timeliness in issuing tax refunds

(From State Auditor Nicole Galloway)

After an audit released in January showed state income tax refunds to Missourians have been increasingly and deliberately delayed, Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today announced a new audit of the Department of Revenue’s timeliness in issuing refunds. The Auditor said citizen feedback again will be vital as she continues efforts to determine if the administration is complying with the law mandating timely refunds.

“When we released the audit in January, we found the administration was balancing its checkbook on the backs of working Missourians. Taxpayers were rightfully frustrated because they waited months to receive their tax refunds from the state,” Auditor Galloway said. “This audit will look at whether the administration is addressing these concerns and getting taxpayers the money they are owed. If citizens run into issues again this year, I encourage them to file a complaint with our Whistleblower Hotline, so that information can be part of this latest audit.”

Feedback from taxpayers can provide valuable information as the Auditor’s Office reviews compliance with the law. Missouri law requires any personal income tax refunds issued after 45 days past filing be paid to taxpayers with interest. Individuals may file a complaint with the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline by calling 800-347-8597, by emailing moaudit@auditor.mo.gov, or by using the online submission form at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.

The previous audit found that delays in issuing refunds worsened considerably in 2017 with 155,000 refunds paid with late interest, an increase of 86 percent over the previous year. That is in addition to the number of refunds paid late with no interest, which was at least 400,000.

Auditor Galloway also said the audit revealed refunds to taxpayers have been increasingly delayed at the direction of the administration in order to pay other state expenses first. Additionally, the state’s decreasing cash balance results in less money to pay Missourians what they are owed.

The report found Missouri taxpayers pay a significantly higher interest rate when making late tax payments than the state is required to pay on delayed refunds, and taxpayers are not compensated for late refunds unless interest exceeds $1. Auditor Galloway is supporting legislation sponsored by state Rep. Lauren Arthur, of Kansas City, to address the glaring inequity between the interest rates taxpayers are charged and what they are given. House Bill 2165would require the state to pay the same interest on late refunds as taxpayers are required to pay on late payments, and require interest to be paid on all refunds issued after 45 days.

Auditor Galloway issued her recent report on the timeliness of tax refunds last month despite unprecedented attempts by the current Governor’s administration to obstruct audit work. Throughout the audit process, auditors faced repeated delays and unwillingness by the administration to provide the requested documentation.

KGCS to air Joplin City Council candidate forum live

(From Southern News Service)

Candidates in the upcoming Joplin City Council election will be featured in a live candidate forum program airing at 6 p.m. Monday, March 26, on KGCS-TV. The forum will be broadcast from the council chambers at Joplin City Hall.

Nine candidates are on the ballot for the April 3 election. Two are seeking the seat in Zone Four: Diane Reid Adams and Morris Glaze. One candidate is on the ballot for Zone One: Gary Shaw. The General Council race features six candidates seeking three seats: Joshua Bard, Harvey Hutchinson, Douglas Lawson, Anthony Monteleone, Ryan Stanley and Steve Urie.

Judy Stiles, general manager of KGCS at Missouri Southern State University and host of the “Newsmakers” interview program, will serve as host. Candidates will have an opportunity to address what they see as key issues facing the city.

“KGCS has a long history of covering city government, and this is another way we can help with communications with residents,” says Stiles.

In addition to airing live, the program will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27; 6 p.m. Thursday, March 29; and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 1. It will also be posted on the station’s YouTube channel.

KGCS operates as a service of the Department of Communication at Missouri Southern. Programming may be seen over the air on channel 22 and on regional cable television systems.

State treasurer launches initiative to help small businesses, agricultural operations grow

(From State Treasurer Eric Schmitt)

Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt was joined by business and finance leaders today in Springfield to launch Missouri FIRST (Financing Investment in our Rural, Small Business and Technology communities), a new initiative aimed at helping small businesses and agricultural operations grow and expand.

Schmitt has spent much of the past year gathering feedback from small business owners, farmers and community banks about how to improve Missouri’s linked deposit program, which works with lenders to provide low-interest loans to small businesses and agricultural operations. Schmitt leveraged that insight to identify opportunities to improve the program and make it stronger than ever before.

The Missouri FIRST initiative launched today implements those changes with a focus on cutting red tape, expanding access and modernizing the linked deposit system.

“Small businesses and farms are the backbone of our state’s economy, but many that were set back by the recession have been struggling to grow ever since,” Schmitt said. “Missouri FIRST will create jobs for hardworking Missourians and revitalize Main Street by encouraging investment in our state’s economy. This program is about expanding opportunity and reaching our fullest economic potential as a state.”

A few of the changes implemented to the linked deposit program include the elimination of a single-use restriction on borrowers, the expansion of eligibility criteria for agricultural loans and a streamlined application process. Existing linked deposit partnerships mean nearly one-third of Missouri lending institutions are already qualified to participate in the program.

“By cutting red tape in Missouri’s linked deposit program and launching Missouri FIRST, Treasurer Schmitt is empowering local lenders to spark new investment in Main Street Missouri,” said Max Cook, President and CEO of the Missouri Bankers Association. “This program will allow lenders to better serve their customers while helping small businesses and agricultural operations grow and expand.”

The Missouri FIRST initiative reflects a renewed prioritization of economic opportunity in the state’s investment portfolio. Treasurer Schmitt is authorized to invest up to $720 million through the linked deposit program.

“At a time when small businesses are still struggling, Treasurer Schmitt has stepped up to the plate and delivered a solution for kick-starting our economy,” said Dan Mehan, President of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Missouri FIRST gives our state a new competitive advantage when it comes to creating and retaining jobs.”

In addition to job creation and retention, another goal of Missouri FIRST is to encourage rural economic development by increasing linked deposit participation among farmers and ranchers.

“Farmers often struggle with securing reasonable financing for starting or expanding their operations,” said Blake Hurst, President of the Missouri Farm Bureau. “Treasurer Schmitt is addressing that problem head-on with Missouri FIRST, which is an important new tool for spurring economic development in rural Missouri.”

There are approximately 115 qualified Missouri FIRST linked deposit lenders with 350 branches throughout the state. A list of lenders and program eligibility guidelines can be found online at MOFIRST.mo.gov.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Former Neosho Chamber of Commerce president files for state representative

Former Neosho Chamber of Commerce President Angela Thomas filed for 160th District state representative today, becoming the first candidate to file on the Democratic ticket.

Thomas is the owner of Angela's Salon and Day Spa.

Filing earlier on the Republican ticket were Neosho Mayor Ben Baker, former Mayor Richard Davidson, Seneca businessman and rancher Raleigh Ritter and David Osborn, Neosho, a retired military man who works in agriculture.

Agreement reached: Tarzan Zerbini to pay $426K to cover back taxes

The federal government and circus owners "Tarzan" Jean Zerbini and his wife, Elizabeth B. Zerbini, Webb City, have reached an agreement to cover the Zerbinis' back taxes and end the legal action against them.

According to a consent judgment filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the Zerbinis will pay $426,152.53, plus interest to cover unpaid taxes from 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2015.

Both sides will pay for their own attorney fees.

Former Rangeline Sonic supervisor pleads not guilty to felony DWI charge, bond motion reduction denied

Bond will remain at $10,000 cash only for former Rangeline Sonic supervisor Chris Alred following an arraignment this morning in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Alred, 31, pleaded not guilty to felony charges of driving while intoxicated as a habitual offender (he has five previous DWI convictions) resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child. Judge John Nicholas rejected the bond reduction motion made by Alred, who was not represented by an attorney.

Online court records indicated Alred will apply for a public defender.

The Sarcoxie Police Department arrested Alred August 27. In the probable cause statement, Sarcoxie Officer Connor Hackworth said Alred was stopped for driving with only one headlight. Alred pulled over on a ramp that said "do not enter" facing oncoming traffic.

Hackworth smelled alcohol and noticed Alred's eight-year-old daughter was in the car with him.

Alred refused to do a field sobriety test, then put the car into drive and pulled away. Hackworth stopped him at the Kum N. Go.

Alred's long history of driving while intoxicated was cited as a reason for revoking his bond on a felony charge of statutory sodomy.

Alred has pleaded guilty to DWI charges five times, along with another guilty plea to amended excessive blood alcohol content:

-Pleaded guilty April 20, 2012 in Jasper County Circuit Court for a November 2, 2011 DWI arrest

-Pleaded guilty May 2012 in Newton County Circuit Court for a December 1, 2010 DWI arrest

-Pleaded guilty April 15, 2010 in Joplin Municipal Court for a September 6, 2009 DWI arrest

-Pleaded guilty April 15, 2010 in Joplin Municipal Court for a May 12, 2009 DWI arrest

-Pleaded guilty February 22, 2007 in Neosho Municipal Court for a July 3, 2006 DWI arrest

-Pleaded guilty May 2, 2006 in Jasper County Circuit Court to excessive blood alcohol content for a February 23, 2005 arrest

Online court records indicate Alred also pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in 2003 in Jasper County Circuit Court after being arrested by the Jasper Police Department, marijuana possession and defective equipment in Bates County Circuit Court in 2008 after being arrested by the Highway Patrol, and an amended charge of unlawful use of drug paraphernalia in Jasper County Circuit Court in 2004.

After hearing all of that information, Judge Dean Dankelson rejected the request to have Alred's bond revoked.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Nancy Hughes: Captured by a camera

“. . . Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
James 1:20 (NIV)

“I am so embarrassed,” my friend blurted out as I opened my front door. “I just made a fool of myself today!”

“That’s an everyday occurrence for me,” I smiled, “so just once isn’t too bad.”
But there was no smile in return. She sat down, shook her head and explained what had just happened.

She had gone to the principal’s office at school because the bus driver had reported that her daughter Sara had been jumping over seats while the bus was in motion and was not listening to his repeated requests to sit down.

“I was so angry when I walked in the office and never gave anyone a chance to speak,” she said. “I glared at the principal and the bus driver and told them that Sara would never ever jump over bus seats nor would she disrespect her bus driver by not obeying what he told her to do.”

At this point she put her hands on her head and looked at me: “I followed that with a comment about how awful it was that they would accuse my daughter of doing such a thing and ended by saying that evidently someone was lying.”

I took her hand and silently waited as she finished her story. “As I made that last statement, the principal leaned over and pushed the start button on his DVD player. I watched what the bus camera had recorded. Sara. My daughter. Jumping over bus seats. Ignoring her bus driver’s repeated demands to sit down.” Oh my.

She looked at me as regret and shame poured from her eyes and onto her shirt. “I’m a Christian. A Christian! And today I was a horrible example of Jesus to everyone who heard me at the school.”

Ever been there? Ouch. Me, too. Instead of memorizing today’s Scripture from James 1:20 and putting it into practice every single day, I find myself changing the words around a bit so that it sounds more like this: “I am quick to become angry and speak and slow to listen.”

When my mouth engages without ever consulting my Spirit, I know that, within minutes, regret is going to rise to the surface. Regret for what I thought, what I said and for my very unchristian behavior. That is why James 1:20 is so important for us all.

We need to remember that as Christians we represent the Creator of the Universe. No matter what we say or do, there will always be someone watching and listening, even if we are never captured by a camera.

Father, for every single situation that I face today, help me to remember that I am an example of your Son no matter where I am. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Have you ever become angry or frustrated and shared everything that came to your mind without stopping to think what you were saying?


The next time you face a situation – no matter what the issue – mentally tell your lips that they are super glued together and open your ears to what is being said.
Then picture everyone around you watching and listening to see if you will be a Christian example to them.

Power Verses

James 1:20 (NIV) “. . . Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

Proverbs 15:18 (NIV) “Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares.”
Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NIV) “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”

Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”
Ecclesiastes 10:12 (NIV) “Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips.”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing and information about her books, check out her blog Encouragement From the War Room.)

Kim Frencken: Teacher retirement under attack again

Teachers always seem to have a battle on their hands. We need more time. Wisely spent dollars for better resources for our kids. Fewer meetings that take us away from our classroom or family.
It seems like someone is always ready to pick a fight. "You're picking on my child." or "We're moving you to a new job assignment." or "You need to have this report turned in .... yesterday."

Yes, teachers have their hands full solving day-to-day issues on the playground and the conference room. And, in social circles. There is always someone who thinks they know better or have more experience than the classroom teacher (even though they never taught a day in their life) and they can't wait to enlighten the teacher or challenge them.

In Missouri, this happens to be an organization called the Show-Me Institute and the founder, Rex Sinquefield. For years, Mr. Sinquefield has been on the warpath with Missouri educators. I don't know the reason why he has chosen MO educational reform as his mission and I don't care. What I do want is for him, and others like him, to stay out of educational reform and advisement. Use your skills elsewhere, where I am sure they are better suited, but don't try to fix an institution that wasn't broken (until people like you started changing everything).

The Missouri Retirement System is like a magnet. It attracts business people who want to grab a bit for themselves. Or use it for a fund. AND take it away from the educators that worked for it. I had my paycheck reduced by 14.5% so that I could provide for my retirement. My retirement. It doesn't affect anyone but me. It doesn't take any money out of anyone's pocket but mine. It affected my take-home pay and my future. And, I don't like the interference in my personal finances.

So, who is Rex Sinquefield? Wealthy. Multimillions to be exact. Made in the stock market. Not the classroom. Most teachers don't make it out of the poverty level, let alone to the millionaire level. I think that if Sinquefield runs out of entertainment in St. Louis, he leaves his 8,000+ sq. ft. mansion for one of his other homes. If I run out of entertainment in the living room, there is always laundry to be folded or dishes to be washed so I relocate to the utility room or the kitchen. No shortage of entertainment there! If he wants to make a difference, he probably pays for change by donating to campaign funds and funding an organization. If I want to make a difference, I volunteer time with kids who can't read, or visit someone who is sick, or bake a cake to surprise a friend. I've lived in MO my entire life. Mr. Sinquefield may have been born in MO, but several records indicate that he lived out of state until 2005.

Now, he has returned and has a plan to improve things in my home state. He has an agenda and he has the money to push it. Start looking at his campaign contributions and see where the money trail leads you. Scary. The latest Senate bill that will affect the retirement funds of MO support staff is one that various organizations have traced back to the Sinquefield. All for what? Apparently, someone who has millions and owns a glass house can afford to call the shots regardless of his lack of experience or knowledge in education.

I don't have millions to make a difference, but I do have a heart. And, I have low tolerance for someone who uses their millions to take something from me that I have rightfully earned AND hurts the kids that I have sacrificed to serve.

(For more of Kim Frencken's writing and information about her educational products, check out her blog Chocolate For the Teacher.)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A hectic week for me personally, plus top Turner Report/Inside Joplin links for the week

This has been a hectic week personally, as well as for the Turner Report.

There have been times when I have wondered if I have gone a little too much into writing about things that have happened to me, but at the same time I consider it important that people know who they are getting their news from.

So over the past few years I have written about both the good things and bad things that have happened to me, as well as doing my best to cover area news and offer an alternative to the traditional media outlets in the area.

When I have made mistakes, I never tried to hide them from you, including a warts-and-all detailing of my problems with the Joplin R-8 School District. I provided the information and allowed you to decide whether those problems were coloring my coverage.

It forced me to double and triple check everything I wrote to ensure its accuracy and on those times when I did get something wrong I immediately corrected my mistakes and admitted my errors.

By the time C. J. Huff announced his "retirement," there were not many people in Joplin who still questioned my coverage.

As i have added a few thousand new readers, some were not here for that early R-8 coverage and if they are upset with something I have written they have threatened to reveal what happened to me in the Joplin Schools.

I burst their bubbles by pointing out to them that if people want to know what happened to me, I printed it all on the Turner Report, included it as part of my book Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud and provided a couple of thousand free copies of the transcript of my hearing to anyone who wanted them.

That document included everything C. J. Huff and company could throw at me. If there was anything else, considering what my investigative reporting revealed about them over the next couple of years, if anyone could have found out anything else about me they would have hit me with it to put an end to to what I was writing.

That never happened.

Since those times, while I still have written about personal events, including my book signings, my latest projects and the infamous assault at my apartment last September, I still prefer those to be occasional variations from the usual post and not regular fare.

These last several days have seen a few more personal stories than I prefer. I wrote about my car accident and I have mentioned the attack at my apartment during the stories on Chris Alred. I was gratified by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to my post on the death of Mom and Dad's dog Zoey, which is one of the top 10 posts this week.

It was good to know there are a lot of dog lovers among you.

A big thank you

Thanks again to those who have subscribed, renewed their subscriptions or made contributions to the Turner Report/Inside Joplin.

While I am certain it is not the best business model, a good portion of what keeps the Turner Report/Inside Joplin operating as a full-time news service is voluntary subscriptions and contributions. If you feel the service that is being provided through the Turner Report, Inside Joplin, Inside Joplin Obituaries and the other blogs is worth supporting, please consider taking a subscription or making a c contribution.

For those who want to make a contribution or subscribe, you can use the Pay Pal buttons below the links or you can send your contribution of any amount big or small to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. G, Joplin, MO 64801.


This week's Top 10 lists and links to the posts are printed below:

The Turner Report

1, Joplin day care owner charged with nine counts of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of failing to report child abuse

2. The man who brought us Wallace Bajjali wants to take his leadership to Jefferson City

3. Bond set at $1 million for Jalen Vaden, trial may be soon as June or July

4. Former Rangeline Sonic supervisor arrested at court hearing, being held on $10,000 cash only bond

5. Allegation that five-year-old Neosho boy inappropriately touched, threatened kindergarten classmate at center of possible legal action against school district

6. Joplin Toys R Us, Babies R. Us expected to close

7. Reader says I deserved to have my car hit by uninsured driver because I supported Obamacare

8. Zoey, faithful friend of Bill and Joann Turner, dead at 17

9. Judge sets bond conditions, Joplin day care owner to have no contact with children

10. Jarub Baird sentencing on meth trafficking, money laundering rescheduled

Inside Joplin

1. One hundred percent of Crowder nursing students at Neosho, Cassville pass nursing exams on first attempt

2. Four DWI arrests tonight as Joplin Police Department cracks down

3. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests

4. Joplin Police searching for missing girl

5. Joplin Police arrest at least nine for DWI during crackdown

6. Joplin woman missing for two weeks

7. Jasper County Dissolution of Marriage Petitions

8. Five arrested on drug charges, warrants, meth, weapon seized during execution of search warrant at 1408 North, Joplin

9. Missouri Highway Patrol Arrests March 15-16

10. Joplin Police Department Arrests March 12-13

Inside Joplin Obituaries

1. Sheri Wilson

2. Deborah Russell

3. Jan Tuggle

4. Tony Bordeaux

5. Pearl Spence

6. Treba Benson

7. Leon Russell

8. Terry Walker

9. Kaylen Warren

10. Joe Boyd

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