942 S.W. 2d 313 (Mo.banc 1996)
Brian Kinder died of natural causes at 7:06 a.m., August 8, 2007, at the Potosi Correctional Center.
Case Facts: On Friday, December 21, 1990, at about 6:30 p.m., Kinder went with Don Williams to the home of Williams’ estranged wife, Cynthia Williams, to pick up two of the Williams’ children for the weekend. The Williams’ third child, Donald Culton, remained at his mother’s home for the evening. Cynthia Williams came home from work and then went out with relatives on that Friday evening. At about 10:00 or 10:30 that same night, Kinder returned to his own home. Earl Smith, who was at the Kinder home, saw Kinder with a pipe that had black tape on one end. Kinder left his home at about 11:00 or 11:30 p.m.
At about 12:00 or 12:30 a.m., Kinder, with pipe in hand, was standing outside of Gibb’s Esquire Bar, which was 40 yards from Cynthia William’s home, and while there he got into an argument with Dwayne Wingo. Wingo left the area at about 1:00 a.m., drove past Cynthia William’s home to a restaurant, and then returned to the bar. During the trip he saw Kinder coming out of Cynthia Williams’ home, and on his return, he saw Kinder back in front of the bar.
At some point after midnight and after Cynthia Williams had returned home, Donald Culton, Cynthia’s son, was awakened by a noise that sounded like a briefcase or shoes dragging on the floor. He also heard “the sound of someone trying to breathe.” The next morning, Donald found his mother’s unclothed body lying on her bed in a pool of blood. He then went to his next-door neighbors’ house and told them his mother was dead, and the police were called.
A pathologist determined that Cynthia Williams died from extensive head injuries caused by multiple blows with a reasonably heavy blunt object, and that her injuries were consistent with being beaten with a pipe.