Missouri Supreme Court Case Number: SC78609
Case Facts: On February 9, 1989, at about 9:00 p.m., Melvin Hedrick met Jeffrey Ferguson and a friend, Kenneth Ousley, at Ferguson’s home. Ferguson asked Hedrick if he would be interested in buying a .32 caliber pistol. Although Hedrick said that he was not interested, he suggested that they take the pistol with them because they might be able to sell it at a bar. Ferguson and Hedrick then made their way to Brother’s Bar in St. Charles, where they stayed for about forty-five minutes to an hour. At the bar, Hedrick began to feel ill, and Ferguson arranged for Ousley to meet them at a Shell service station on 5th Street, near Interstate 70. Between 10:50 and 10:55 p.m., Ferguson and Hedrick made the short trip to the Shell station, where Ousley was waiting in Ferguson’s brown and white Blazer. Ferguson put the .32 caliber pistol in his waistband and then walked toward the passenger side of the Blazer as Hedrick left for home.
Seventeen-year-old Kelli Hall, the victim in the case, worked at a Mobil service station across the street from the Shell station where Ousley and Ferguson met. Hall’s shift was scheduled to end at 11:00 p.m., and at about that time, one of Hall’s co-workers, Tammy Adams, arrived at the Mobil station to relieve her. A few minutes later, Robert Stulce, who knew Hall, drove up to the Mobil station to meet a friend and noticed Hall checking and recording the fuel levels in the four tanks at the front of the station. Stulce also saw a brown and white Blazer, which he later identified as identical to Ferguson’s Blazer, pull in front of him and stop in the parking lot near Hall. When Stulce looked again, Hall was facing a white male who was standing between the open passenger door and the body of the Blazer. The man stood very close to Hall and appeared to have one hand in his pocket and the other hand free. Stulce then saw Hall get into the back passenger seat of the vehicle.
In the meantime, Hall’s boyfriend, Tim Parres, waited for her in his car, which he had parked behind the station. After waiting for Hall for about half an hour, Parres went inside the station looking for her, but to no avail. He and Tammy Adams then determined that Hall was not at home, but that her purse was still at the station, and at that point they called the police.
Early on the morning of February 22, Warren Stemme was working on his farm in the Missouri River bottoms. As he walked by a machinery shed, he discovered Kelli Hall’s body, frozen, clothed only in socks, and partially obscured by steel building partitions that had been leaned up against the shed.