Problematic Trial Ends With Guilty Verdict

Posted 6 months ago

By John P Tretbar

GavelA Clarksdale, Missouri man is scheduled for sentencing next month after a Buchanan County jury on Thursday found him guilty of Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person. His bond was revoked Monday after he tested positive for amphetamines on the first day of his trial. His lawyer is due in court in two weeks on a contempt-of-court citation for showing up late.

The jury on Thursday found Richard Lee Edwards, 44, guilty of bilking an elderly woman out of more than $100,000 worth of overpriced and unnecessary home repairs.

Another man has pleaded guilty to the same charge in a different case involving more than $200,000. Donnie Embrey is facing a possible 25-year sentence. Embrey testified against Edwards, admitting he took part in the scam.

The jury recommended a 12-year sentence against Edwards. Circuit Judge Daniel Kellogg scheduled Edwards’ sentencing December 9.

The trial did not begin well on Monday. Edwards was free on bond based on the condition that he undergo urinalysis testing for illegal drugs. Judge Kellogg revoked his bond on Monday after Edwards tested positive for amphetamines.

Edwards’ lawyer Robert Young failed to appear at an 8:30 am hearing on his own motion Monday. At 9:02 am, the judge denied the motion “for lack of proof.” The trial was scheduled to begin at 9am, but, according to court records, Mr Young did not show up until 9:53 am. Judge Kellogg issued a citation for contempt of court and scheduled a hearing November 21.