JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. – The Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged two men for allegedly conspiring to kill an Imperial man after that man’s daughter broke up with one of the defendants.
According to court documents, the incident unfolded in the overnight hours from June 24 and June 25.
On June 24, 18-year-old Casey Lynn Duncan contacted a friend, 19-year-old Jesse Noal Killian, and informed him of a plan to break into a home in the 5100 block of Autumn Ridge Drive and kill the homeowner because that man’s daughter had recently dumped him.
Killian traveled from his home in Cape Girardeau to Duncan’s residence in Fenton in the early morning hours of June 25. The two then traveled to the victim’s residence in Imperial.
Duncan brought with him a large knife, a replica Beretta handgun, and a loaded .22-caliber rifle. He gave Killian the rifle and kept the replica pistol.
Police said Duncan and Killian went to the back deck and contemplated breaking in through the rear door and shooting their intended victim. Instead, the two men gained access to the attached garage and got inside the residence through an unlocked door.
The suspects took alcoholic beverages from a fridge in the garage and placed them in the victim’s SUV.
Duncan and Killian searched the home and found the victim, his wife, and a young child asleep in the living room. The pair was unable to follow through with their plan, so they fled in the victim’s SUV and stole the garage remotes.
Authorities in Ste. Genevieve County tracked the vehicle's GPS and located Duncan and Killian at an area hospital. Killian had sliced his leg while climbing into the garage and required stitches.
Police apprehended the two men at the hospital.
“So they looked beyond just the initial crime of stealing a motor vehicle and discovered that there was a much bigger plot here,” said Sgt. Matt Moore, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
When questioned by detectives, Duncan said he didn’t really want to kill his ex-girlfriend’s father, but that it was Killian’s sole intent.
Duncan granted authorities consent to search his phone and they discovered Duncan did, in fact, attempt to orchestrate the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s father over the last several days. According to police, Duncan sent Killian text messages saying the victim had to be killed within the next 30 days.
For his part, Killian told investigators he had intended to kill the victim along with Duncan. However, Killian said their plan was thwarted because Duncan wouldn’t shoot the victim and Killian took that to mean his co-conspirator had lost the will to do so.
Investigators believe Killian didn’t know Duncan was armed with only a replica handgun.
"It was just good investigative work. They started asking questions and realized there was maybe a little more to the story, so they keep pushing and asking more questions and eventually stories just unraveled, when you have two people and you separate them, and their stories are not matching up, you just know somethings not right," Moore said.
Duncan and Killian were each charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree burglary, and stealing a motor vehicle. Both men remain jailed on a $500,000 cash-only bond.