COLUMBIA — Although three of the six people charged in the February shooting of Corey Brown have already pleaded guilty, the case only seems to get more complex.
On Monday, prosecutors named Clyde Hyler III, 23, as a potential trial witness against Ashton Weger, 19, who is one of the six men facing charges related to Brown’s slaying. Hyler recently pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in an unrelated 2008 shooting.
Assistant prosecutor Stephanie Morrell declined to comment on Hyler’s possible testimony.
Brown was killed in the parking lot of Ballenger Liquor and C-Store in northeast Columbia the night of Feb. 16.
Nikolaus Wadlow, 16, who was charged in connection with Brown’s murder, was also named Monday as a potential witness against Weger. Certified as an adult in court, Wadlow pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted robbery June 1.
The developments were the latest in a recent flurry of activity in the Brown case.
Andre Lee, 21 — also charged in connection with the Brown murder — pleaded guilty Sept. 8 to first-degree attempted robbery and armed criminal action.
According to a probable cause statement, Weger — along with Lee and Brown — was allegedly supposed to bring $2,100 to buy marijuana from Bradley Enyart, 17, in the liquor store parking lot at 2201 Ballenger Lane.
Shortly after Weger, Lee and Brown arrived, a Jeep pulled up, according to the statement. Enyart got out of the vehicle and demanded money from Weger. Enyart then fired a handgun at the men, and they returned fire. Brown was shot in the abdomen and pelvic area and was later pronounced dead at University Hospital.
The statement also said that when Enyart was interviewed by the police, he identified the other people who were in the vehicle with him: Wadlow; Nick Weavers, 21; and Michael McHenry, 17, who was later certified to be tried as an adult.
The statement went on to say that McHenry told police in an interview that “all four subjects in the Jeep were aware of their intention to rob (Weger) of $2,100, all four were aware of (Enyart) being in possession of a handgun, and all four were aware that there was no marijuana nor was there any item which they were planning to use to substitute for marijuana.”
The four were arrested and initially charged with second-degree murder and first-degree robbery, as were Weger and Lee. Even though the shooting resulted in only one death, Missouri criminal law allows for multiple suspects to be charged for the same murder if they are thought to be acting together.
Enyart has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery, as has McHenry. Weavers pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery on Aug. 17 as part of a plea agreement with the state. He will receive 12 years in prison.
A grand jury indictment for Enyart was transferred from Boone County to Callaway County on Sept. 8. Boone County prosecutors will still handle the case, but the jury will be selected from residents of Callaway County.
On Monday, Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton also granted the prosecution’s request that Weger produce a handwriting sample. Neither defense attorney Kirk Zwink nor Morrell would say why Weger was asked for the sample.