961 S.W.2d 831 (Mo.banc 1998)
Case Facts: On September 21, 1993, Rousan , Rousan’s son Brent Rousan, and Rousan’s brother, Robert Rousan, met and discussed stealing cattle from Charles and Grace Lewis. Charles Lewis, sixty-seven, and his wife Grace, sixty-two, lived near the farm where Rousan resided. Having devised a plan, the Rousans’s set out for the Lewis farm. On the way, they discussed killing Mr. and Mrs. Lewis. They agreed that “if it had to be done it had to be done.”
As the three drove past the Lewis farm, William Rousan pointed out the cattle they would be stealing. He parked the truck approximately two miles from the farm. He got out of the truck and removed a .22 caliber rifle that belonged to his girlfriend, Mary Lambing. He loaded the rifle for use in the crime “in case anyone was home.” Rousan and his son then argued over who would carry the gun, Brent, the son, said that he was “man enough to do whatever needed to be done and that he would use the weapon.” Rousan at first stated that Brent was not man enough, but eventually gave him the gun. He warned Brent that if they were caught, they would “fry.” The three men then hiked through the woods to the Lewis farm where they waited under cover behind a fallen tree.
Between 3-4 p.m. that afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis returned home. Mr. Lewis began to mow the lawn. Mrs. Lewis spoke on the phone to the couple’s oldest daughter, who called at approximately 4:00 p.m.
Brent grew tired of waiting and exclaimed that he wanted to “do it.” Rousan told Brent to wait until he and Robert had secured the house. Rousan headed for the front door and Robert made his way to the back door. Before they arrived at the home, Mr. Lewis saw Brent and called out. Brent fired at least six shots from the rifle, all of which struck Mr. Lewis. He died as a result of those gunshot wounds.
Mrs. Lewis, speaking by telephone with her daughter, told her daughter that she heard gunfire and hung up the telephone. As Mrs. Lewis exited the house through the front door, Brent shot her several times. Although the bullets fractured both of Mrs. Lewis’s arms, the wounds were not fatal. Mrs. Lewis ran back into the house. Rousan followed her, removed a garment bag from a coat rack, and placed the bag over Mrs. Lewis’s head and the upper part of her body, picked her up and carried her outside. When Rousan placed Mrs. Lewis on the ground, she was alive. Rousan turned to Brent and instructed him to “finish her off.” Brent fired one shot into the left side of Mrs. Lewis’s head. The shot killed her.
The three men wrapped the bodies in a tarpaulin and tied it with a rope. Rousan instructed that they should pick up the shell casings and clean up the blood stains. After doing so, the men deposited the bodies near a shed and left, planning to return later to get the bodies and the cattle.
The three men, along with Jerry Rousan, another of Rousan’s brothers, returned to the Lewis farm that night. There they loaded the bodies into Mr. Lewis’s truck. They took two cows, a VCR, jewelry, soda, two gas cans, and a saddle. The four men then returned to Mary Lambing’s farm, where Rousan lived. On the return trip, Brent bragged about the murders.
At the Lambing farm, the men buried Mr. and Mrs. Lewis in a shallow grave by the barn. After digging the grave and placing the bodies in it, the men poured concrete over the bodies. They covered the grave with a pile of manure. They burned rags used to clean the blood from the Lewis house.
The men disposed of the Lewises’ property in various ways. On the night of the murders, the men consumed the soda. The cows were later sold at auction. Robert gave the VCR to his sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Bruce Williams, on the day following the murders. Mr. and Mrs. Williams sold the VCR to a local pawn broker approximately eight months later. Rousan buried the couple’s personal items. He gave the remainder of the jewelry to Mary Lambing on special occasions during the following year. The four men hid and later burned Mr. Lewis’s truck.
When the Lewises’ daughter could not reach her parents the following day, she became concerned. She called the police, who undertook an investigation into the Lewises’ disappearance. The police investigation continued for nearly a year without an arrest.
On September 20, 1994 Rousan was arrested.