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UPDATE: Zachariah Peterson arrested on charges of second-degree murder, armed criminal action

Friday, January 21, 2011 | 11:04 p.m. CST; updated 4:00 p.m. CST, Saturday, January 22, 2011

COLUMBIA — Zachariah Joel Peterson of Columbia was arrested Friday evening on charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with the shooting death of James Leon Porter, 31, on Tuesday.

Earlier in the evening, the Columbia Police Department requested an arrest warrant for Peterson and a probable cause statement was submitted to the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, a Columbia Police Department news release stated.

According to the release, the warrant was approved and submitted to the Boone County Jail where Peterson was being held after his arrest Wednesday on an outstanding warrant for felony resisting arrest. He was also being questioned in connection with Porter's death.

Peterson's bond was set at $1 million, cash only, the release stated.

According to the release, the probable cause statement contained the following details that led to the request and approval of the warrant:

  • On Jan. 18, witnesses saw Peterson arrive at Porter's home about 1 p.m. in his 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe. Witnesses saw them leaving together in the vehicle.
  • At 2:13 p.m. Porter's body was found at Sunset Trailer Court. A witness reported hearing gunshots and seeing Porter fall out of the passenger side of the Tahoe, which then sped away.
  • On Jan. 19, acting on a citizen's tip, police found Peterson walking along Providence Road. He was arrested on the outstanding warrant. Police questioned Peterson about the whereabouts of the Tahoe and details concerning Porter's death. Peterson denied knowing where the Tahoe was and would not provide any other information.
  • On Jan. 21, again in response to a citizen's tip, police found the Tahoe with what appeared to be blood inside. A floor mat left at the scene of Porter's death appeared to match the floor mat in the driver's side of the Tahoe. A bullet was also found in the vehicle along with blood on the passenger's seat belt, console and passenger seat.

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