Probable cause statements report details of the death of Taurean Snoddy

Taureen Snoddy Case Suspects

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Five Hannibal men facing murder charges in the death of another Hannibal man will be back in court Friday.  

Braden Chestnutt, 19, Chad Elliott, 20, Dakota Laster, 23 and Damien McCulley, 25 all of Hannibal, 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. 

Taurean 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 the 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 Street. 

(Witness, suspect and victim names were redacted in the probable cause statements. The victim’s family verified his name to Muddy River News.)

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. 

One suspect reported being hit in the head with a whiskey bottle during the altercation.

The other witness said after “Braden and Dakota were arrested” that “another male in Damien’s truck took several guns from the vehicle and got out of the vehicle before arriving at HPD.”

When officers arrived, they found one of the suspects blocking traffic. The suspect first denied being involved, saying he found Snoddy in the street with a faint heartbeat.  

Howard Rickey, the first person arrested regarding the incident, fled from police after he was located at 3023 Darr Street. The statement reports Rickey “threw his coat off and was later caught and arrested a short distance away.”  Rickey later admitted he had meth syringes in his coat. 

Police later discovered a truck near Central Park with a canister with residue that tested positive for meth. The driver’s side of the truck was reported to have fresh marks in the dust and “what appears to be a fist mark.”

In the probable cause statement regarding Rickey, he is alleged to have “admitted to making multiple comments about running the victim over, as well as driving through a field toward the victim who was found deceased a short distance away.”

The statement regarding Laster listed him as a “danger to the community.”

The statement regarding McCulley also reported him as a “danger to the community” and said he was involved in a “large group fight where weapons such a brass knuckles were used and which resulted in the death of Taurean Snoddy.” The statement also reports McCulley has an extensive criminal history, including several incidents involving weapons.

The statement regarding Elliot reports him to be a “danger to the community” for being involved a fight involving brass knuckles. He is alleged to have struck the victim numerous times with the brass knuckles. He also initially lied to police about his involvement. Elliot does not have charges involving violent acts in his criminal record.

The statement regarding Chestnutt reports he was involved in the fight while possibly wearing brass knuckles. It also reports Chestnutt brought the suspects to the scene expecting a fight, then assaulted Snoddy resulting in his death.

All five suspects are in Marion County Jail without bond. They will make an appearance at the Marion County Courthouse on Friday, Feb. 10 at 8:30 a.m.

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