Jury finds property owner guilty in Meramec River shooting

Thursday, May 15, 2014 | 9:20 a.m. CDT

STEELVILLE — An eastern Missouri jury has found a 59-year-old man guilty of second-degree murder in the July 2013 death of a float trip participant who was urinating near his property.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a Crawford County jury delivered its verdict Wednesday against Robert Crocker of Cuba, who lives along the Meramec River.

The jury deliberated for about two hours before determining that Crocker shot 48-year-old Paul Dart Jr. of Robertsville. He was among 50 friends and extended family members on a float trip party. Crocker claimed self-defense in the gravel-bar encounter.

Prosecutors countered that Crocker was far from the edge of his property near Steelville when the fatal shooting occurred. He and some of the floaters had argued before the shooting.



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