Five people facing second-degree murder charges in beating death of Hannibal man to be arraigned Friday

Five charged in Dusty Wilson case

Top row from left, Tiara Bonner and Jason Anderson; bottom row from left, Thomas Payne, Kaelin Rickey and Jordan Payne. | Photos courtesy of Marion County Jail

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Five people facing first-degree assault and second-degree murder charges in connection to the death of a Hannibal man on Oct. 9 will be arraigned Friday morning in Marion County Circuit Court.

Four of those people — Tiara Bonner, Jason Anderson, Jordan Payne and Kaelin Rickey — waived their right to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday afternoon before Judge John Jackson. However, Thomas Payne had a preliminary hearing lasting nearly an hour. Jackson eventually determined a probable cause existed in that case.

Approximately 50 people were in the courtroom inside the Marion County Courthouse.

Anderson, Rickey and the Payne brothers have hired their own counsel. Anderson is represented by Clayton attorney James Ochs. Rickey is represented by St. Louis attorney Matthew Radefeld. Jordan Payne is represented by O’Fallon attorney Christopher Lozano, and Thomas Payne is represented by Columbia attorney Matthew Perry.

Bonner is represented by public defender Austin Smith from Hannibal.

A probable cause statement from the Hannibal Police Department Police indicated officers reported around 1:50 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, to investigate an assault outside Rumor Has It Bar and Grill, 125 N. Main. Upon arrival, officers found Dusty Wilson, 49, of Hannibal, on Main Street with substantial head trauma. Wilson was transported to Hannibal Regional Hospital and later to a trauma center in Columbia, Mo., where he died from his injuries.

Video footage from a bystander showed Anderson walking away from Wilson’s body, claiming, “It’s like that. Don’t ever hit no female, bro.” 

A witness reported Anderson kicking Wilson in the face, and the witness also saw Bonner striking Wilson. The witness said Wilson was seen backing into the street as a group ran up and started hitting him. Bonner then allegedly stomped on Wilson’s head while he was on the ground. Another witness claimed Bonner stomped on Wilson’s head three times while Anderson punched and kicked him once. The witness claimed to have pushed back Anderson, who returned to kick Wilson again.

The probable cause statement showed a witness told the Hannibal Police Department that Jordan Payne was seen knocking Wilson’s hat off and arguing with him before a physical altercation started. The same witness said Thomas Payne struck Wilson several times. After the Paynes turned themselves in and were arrested, Thomas Payne told an investigator his brother flipped Wilson’s hat off, and he stepped between the two at the start of the verbal altercation. Jordan Payne told an investigator he did not knock Wilson out and did not hit him when he was on the ground.

During the initial investigation, Rickey was interviewed on the scene as a witness. She originally reported seven or eight people were in the street arguing. She said she was inside Rumors and did not see the entire fight. However, one of the people arrested for their involvement in the incident said Rickey instigated a fight. Rickey later was contacted at her place of employment and provided a written statement saying she never struck Wilson. 

Luke Bryant, prosecuting attorney for Marion County, called officer Allison Hamm and detective Ryan Mulheron with the Hannibal Police Department, to the stand during Thomas Payne’s preliminary hearing. Both were cross-examined by Perry.

Hamm testified she found Wilson face down in the middle of Main Street with his face covered in blood when she arrived at the scene in the early-morning hours of Oct. 9. She said she and Cpl. Andrew Tripp used CPR in an unsuccessful attempt to resuscitate Wilson.

Mulheron testified he conducted several interviews on site that morning and later interviewed Thomas Payne at the Hannibal Police Department. He said Thomas Payne admitted to engaging into a fight with Wilson and “ended up punching him several times.” During cross-examination by Perry, Mulheron said Thomas Payne told him he hit Wilson twice while they were standing and once when he was one the ground.

“Did (Thomas Payne) also tell you (Wilson) approached him and called him a n***er?” Perry asked. Mulheron said yes.

Perry asked if Mulheron corroborated Thomas Payne’s comments during his interviews.

“Several people advised me that the victim got into a verbal altercation, was using racial slurs during the verbal altercation, and Jordan ended up knocking a hat off his head,” Mulheron replied.

Perry also asked Mulheron about video footage obtained from the Native American Trading Company, 115 N. Main, during his investigation. Mulheron said the video showed a crowd of people, and then a male wearing a black vest who appeared to strike somebody in a crowd. 

“That was the first punch thrown,” said Mulheron, who identified Thomas Payne as the person who threw the punch. Mulheron also said it was the only punch he saw Thomas Payne throw on any of the video footage he obtained. He said he didn’t see Wilson throw any punches.

Perry asked if anybody had been captured on video saying, “Yeah, I kicked him in the face. He deserved it.” Mulheron replied he had, and that person was Kaelin Rickey.

Bryant said after the preliminary hearings that the case against Todd Haynes, a sixth person arrested in connection to Wilson’s death, has been dropped.

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