A trio of Rogersville men face murder charges in the January death of Springfield’s Billy J. Harris.
According to news release Monday morning from Webster County Prosecuting Attorney Danette Padgett, 47-year-old Alfred Dean Clevenger, 43-year-old Dewayne A. Layton and 40-year-old Kevin Ray Layton all face an array of felony charges for their respective alleged roles in Harris’ death this past January at 94 Corner Road in rural Rogersville.
Padgett’s charges followed an extensive investigation into Harris’ death by the Webster County Sheriff’s Department.
“It’s a brutal crime ... the horrible death of Billy Harris,” Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole said. “I really can’t say much about it. This (case) now is in the hands of the prosecutor.”
A news release from Cole’s department said that last Tuesday, Feb. 21, his office received information about a missing person from Springfield, who later was revealed to be Harris.
“At the time, with the assistance of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Springfield Police Department, an investigation began as there was information (that) the person may be in Webster County,” the release said.
Cole added that last Wednesday, Feb. 22, a search warrant was served at a home south of Rogersville.
“After serving the search warrant, it was learned that the missing person may be deceased at a location near Rogersville,” Cole said. “Later on this same day, a body matching the missing person was found north of Rogersville.”
Two days later, warrants were issued for Clevenger and both Laytons for their alleged involvement in Harris’ death. Clevenger and Kevin Layton both resided at 94 Corner Road in rural Rogersville, Cole said. “At this point (Monday morning), investigators are looking for Dewayne Layton, also of Rogersville, for his involvement in the incident,” he added.
A probable-cause statement released by Padgett said that last Wednesday, Feb. 22, Sgt. Dan Nash of the patrol interviewed Clevenger, who told Nash that Harris was murdered at 94 Corner Road in the middle of January.
“Clevenger said the murder was committed with a Ruger .22-caliber revolver,” Nash wrote in his report. “Clevenger said he got the .22-caliber revolver from his mother and gave it to Dewayne Layton, who wanted to borrow the firearm.”
Clevenger told Nash that after Harris was killed, he placed the firearm in a Christmas stocking with other ammunition and disposed of it by Lassley Spring Road, south of Rogersville.
Nash later went to the site described by Clevenger on Lassley Spring Road and recovered the firearm in the aforementioned Christmas stocking.
In a separate interview last Wednesday with Hannah Lynn Tilley, Deputy John Everett, an investigator with the sheriff’s department, said that Tilley told him she witnessed the murder of Harris.
“Tilley said that in the middle of January 2012, she saw Dewayne Layton shoot Billy J. Harris with a western-style revolver,” Everett wrote in his probable-cause statement. “Tilley said Alfred Clevenger ... and Kevin Layton were there when Billy J. Harris was shot.”
A final report written last Friday by Cole said that Clevenge ... See MURDER, Page 2:
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