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Woman extradited in Boone County murder

Friday, January 23, 2009 | 6:58 p.m. CST; updated 3:21 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 21, 2010

COLUMBIA — A woman accused of assisting in the 2004 Boone County murder of her estranged husband was extradited from Texas on Thursday, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

Tausha L. Fields, 33, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of her ex-husband Mitchell Kemp. Gregory Morton, Fields’ other ex-husband, faces the same charges for his alleged role in Kemp’s murder.

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According to the probable cause statement from the Boone County Circuit Court, detectives interviewed an acquaintance of Morton and Fields, identified only as a Florida resident with the initials K.J.

K.J. said Fields admitted to participating in Kemp’s murder by “luring him under false pretenses” to the Deer Park Road home that Fields shared with Morton. Morton allegedly shot Kemp and buried him on the property located near Three Creeks State Park, according to the statement.

In August 2008, Fields led detectives to an unmarked grave on the Deer Park Road property formerly owned by Morton, according to the statement. The Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab used DNA analysis to identify the remains as those of Kemp. An autopsy conducted by the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded Kemp died from multiple gunshots and ruled the death a homicide.

Kemp was reported missing by family members in 2004. Boone County detectives launched an investigation into Kemp’s death after receiving information from Kemp’s family that he may have been murdered in Boone County.

It took detectives until December to solidify the case against Fields, said Tom Reddin of the Sheriff’s Department. The investigation took the Sheriff’s Department to multiple states and involved numerous law enforcement departments, Reddin said.

Fields, who also uses the surname Morton, was arrested in December 2008 in Galveston County, Texas, where she was living. Fields previously lived in Jackson County, Fla., Reddin said.

Fields is being held at the Boone County jail on $1 million cash bond.


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herald lope November 22, 2009 | 3:38 p.m.
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