Murder Investigation in Newton County

An attempted burglary at a Joplin home this morning ended with a homicide. 58-year-old Jeffrey Slama was on the phone with Newton County Dispatch around 8:20am, saying he heard an intruder in his house. Dispatchers say they then heard Slama talk to the intruder..and then heard a gunshot.

"While the dispatcher still had telephone contact with the victim, they could hear the male victim pleading with the suspect not to shoot him.  A short time later, you could hear a gunshot."

Copeland says there's no information that Slama knew the intruder.   "It appears to be a burglary gone bad...There weren't any other cars there at the residence that he could see.  It appears as though he just thought he was committing a burglary and then ran into the resident."

The suspect, a white male, drove away in a small black car. Copeland says a similar vehicle is linked to recent burglaries in Barry County. If you have information on this burglary, call the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

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Locations : Newton County