Three of five defendants in Snoddy death investigation plead not guilty at arraignment

Taurean Snoddy defendants

Top row from left, Braden Chestnutt and Dakota Laster; bottom row, Chad Elliott, Damien McCulley and Howard Rickey. | Photos courtesy of Hannibal Police Department

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Three of the five defendants allegedly involved in the death of Taurean Snoddy pleaded not guilty on Friday during an arraignment in the Marion County Courthouse.

Snoddy was found lying unresponsive in the street in the 1200 block of Lyon on the night 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.

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.

Chestnutt, Elliott and McCulley appeared for arraignment via video conference from the Marion County Jail. Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd presided, and Prosecuting Attorney Luke Bryant appeared in person on behalf of the state.

Attorney Wayne Schoeneberg appeared in the courtroom for Chestnutt, who will appear in court again at 2:30 p.m. April 18. Attorney Matthew Mueller appeared on video for Elliott and requested to file a motion to set a bond reduction. Elliott will appear in court again at 11 a.m. April 18.

Attorney Matthew Radefeld appeared on video for McCulley and requested to file a motion to change venue and a motion to set a bond reduction. Radefeld will appear in court again at 11 a.m. May 5.

Laster is set for a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. April 10 at the Marion County Courthouse in Hannibal before Judge John Jackson. Rickey’s attorney, Fredrich Cruse, requested a change of judge. That case has been reassigned to Judge David Mobley. The preliminary hearing will be held at 11 a.m. May 16 at the Marion County Courthouse.

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