Columbia homeless man pleads guilty to Schneider murder

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | 3:56 p.m. CDT; updated 10:23 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 8, 2011

COLUMBIA — Ricky Lee Gaddy, a Columbia area homeless man, pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing another homeless man, Jerry Edward Schneider.

Gaddy, 57, is expected to serve a life sentence and another 20 years in prison for armed criminal action charges after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Schneider’s body was found in the parking lot of the old Everett’s restaurant at Range Line Street and Interstate 70 on Oct. 24. Gaddy and Travis Grant Birkhead, 49, also from Columbia, were arrested Jan. 18 on suspicion of first-degree armed criminal action and first-degree murder.

Birkhead told police he was walking with Gaddy on Oct. 23 near the murder scene when Gaddy told him he was going to murder Schneider, according to previous Missourian reports.

Birkhead said he saw Gaddy hit Schneider with a rock-like object multiple times until Schneider stopped breathing. Birkhead then stabbed Schneider, according to Missourian reports.

Birkhead pleaded not guilty to both charges May 2. His trial is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. July 13, at the Boone County Courthouse.

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