Fifth Hannibal man charged with second-degree murder in connection with Jan. 25 death

O'Connell, Robert J copy

Robert O'Connell | Photo courtesy of Hannibal Police Department

HANNIBAL, Mo. — A Hannibal man has been arrested and charged with first-degree assault and second-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 25 death of Taurean Snoddy.

Robert J. O’Connell, 36, was arrested Friday, May 19 by detectives with the Hannibal Police Department on a warrant issued by the 10th Judicial District of Marion County. 

O’Connell is being held in the Marion County Jail with no bond.

A press release from the Hannibal Police Department did not provide further details.

Four other Hannibal men — Braden Chestnutt, 19, Chad Elliott, 20, Dakota Laster, 23, and Damien McCulley, 25 — were charged Jan. 28 with charges of second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Elliott and McCulley also have been charged with tampering with a victim. 

Howard J. Rickey, 44, was charged with assault in the first degree and resisting arrest for a felony. 

Snoddy was found lying unresponsive in the street in the 1200 block of Lyon Street on the evening of Jan. 25.  After CPR was performed, he was transported by emergency services to Hannibal Regional Hospital, where he died 45 minutes after Hannibal Police officers first arrived at the scene. 

Probable cause statements show the five suspects arrived in a truck together before an argument began.  Three witnesses — a mother and her two children who were present at the time of the fight — stated the altercation allegedly leading to Snoddy’s death started as a verbal argument, then became physical in a vacant lot on the 1200 block of Church.

One of the children said after seeing two of the men yell at one another, the fight moved into a vacant lot. The two men started hitting each other. One of the suspects got into their vehicle without the headlights on and began driving through a nearby field, following the group into the alleyway and driving erratically.

The initial interview did not include three of the suspects’ names who later were identified during a second interview with both minor witnesses, who admitted they were told by the suspects not to tell the police about their involvement.   

One of the minors reported Snoddy was jumped in the alley behind her house and was hit “at least 10 times.” The witness later heard one of the suspects bragging that he was breaking Snoddy’s ribs and cracking him over the head with brass knuckles. 

Chestnutt and McCulley pled not guilty during an arraignment on April 1. Elliott pled not guilty during an arraignment on May 18. Laster was released on bond earlier this month and is scheduled to be arraigned on June 2. Rickey is scheduled to be arraigned at 10 a.m. Thursday.

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