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2 men accused of threatening women with guns in late-night weekend incidents


Two men have been charged in incidents that reportedly happened at almost the same time over the weekend at local businesses, each involving threats with a firearm.

Damian P. Henry, 24, West Plains, is charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon by exhibiting it in a threatening manner, and is held on $50,000 bond, according to court records.

West Plains Police Officer Daiman Meyer, in a probable cause statement submitted to prosecutors, reported he was dispatched at about 12:43 a.m. Saturday to Mugs bar on East Main Street for a disturbance.

A manager at the business said Henry had been there and aggressively displayed a firearm to multiple people.

The officer then spoke with a victim whom Henry had been seen talking to, and was given a description of what Henry was wearing and of the firearm, the victim telling Meyer the weapon was black and described it in a way Meyer took to indicate it had an extended magazine. The victim reportedly told the officer Henry showed the firearm in such a way that it made her fear for her life, and mentioned multiple people were leaving the bar at the time.

When Henry was interviewed by law enforcement, after being read his rights, he reportedly said he had gotten a text from his girlfriend saying she needed help, but didn't indicate what type of help she needed. When he went to Mugs, Henry said, he was wearing a grey windbreaker mask over his face, and stated this was a usual thing for him to do and he didn't believe it to be an issue. The clothing and the way he was wearing it matched the description given by the victim, Meyer noted.

Henry reportedly told the officer he'd tried to talk to his girlfriend, but she was too intoxicated to communicate, and a second person entered the conversation. The suspect then claimed several other people exited the business and, in Henry's words began "talking sh*t,” Meyer reported.

At that point, Henry reportedly stated, he lost track of the conversation he was having with the second person and focused on the people in the group, who he said were yelling at him and were "drunk and obnoxious." After he told the group to leave him alone and let him talk to his girlfriend, he said, he felt overwhelmed by the situation and drove away.

Meyer reported Henry "strongly denied" being in possession of a firearm during the incident, and mentioned his own previous criminal history, stating if he had a firearm, he “would have been putting people in caskets; therefore, it should be obvious” he did not have a firearm, implying he would have used it in that situation.

In April 2022, Henry was charged with, and later acquitted from, first-degree murder and armed criminal action following the fatal shooting of another man at a gas station at the junction of north U.S. 63 and Highway 14. His acquittal came after a jury found he acted in defense of his friend, who was being assaulted by the man, armed with a knife.

In June 2023, Henry was convicted of possession of a controlled substance, a charge filed separately from the murder charge but after various illegal drugs were found in the impounded vehicle Henry had used to escape the scene of the shooting.

He entered a guilty plea to that charge and was sentenced to five years in prison, with the sentence suspended on the condition he complete five years of supervised probation. On April 19, court records show, a warrant was issued for probation violation on that case after an April 2 traffic stop in West Plains reportedly led to the discovery of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, cash and a firearm that allegedly belonged to Henry, who was a passenger in the vehicle. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon by possessing a weapon and a controlled substance in that case.

He is scheduled for a probation violation hearing, a preliminary hearing for charges related to the April 2 incident and a counsel status hearing for the most recent charges on May 21 before 37th Associate Circuit Court Judge R. David Ray.

Henry waived formal arraignment and pleaded not guilty to the most recent charges, court records show.


Dakota McKee, 23, Dora, is charged with first-degree stalking, first offense; armed criminal action; and unlawful use of a weapon by exhibiting it, all felonies, following allegations that brandished a handgun, threatened to kill a person inside a business and chased an ex-girlfriend, who said she eventually jumped from a moving vehicle to get away from him.

At about 1 a.m. Saturday, West Plains Police Cpl. Wes Stuart said in court records, he was dispatched to Walmart to investigate a report of a person being followed and threatened by a person with a firearm.

The victim told Stuart she and McKee had been in a relationship that ended a couple of weeks prior, but the two were still living together because she didn't want him to be homeless, and he was having trouble accepting the breakup.

Earlier that night, she said, she saw McKee drive past her place of employment multiple times during her shift.

Stuart noted in his statement that, earlier that day, a traffic stop was conducted on McKee's vehicle by Meyer, who had seen McKee drive past the business where the victim worked just prior.

After the victim got off work, she said, she left with a friend, and the two went to Casey's General Store on Preacher Roe Boulevard.

While the friend was inside the convenience store, she reported, McKee approached her, wouldn't let her out of the vehicle, and she had to force her way out by pushing him out of the way with the vehicle door.

It was then McKee allegedly started pointing a handgun at the store and repeatedly threatening to kill the victim's friend when he came out. She said she then took the gun from McKee and he started chasing her around Casey's while the other person was in the store, but when she returned to where the friend's vehicle was parked she discovered he'd left, leaving her stranded and without her phone, which was in the vehicle.

She told the officer she then got into McKee's vehicle because she had no other way home, but McKee insisted they drive around and talk about their relationship and he again brandished the gun at her while yelling and telling her he was going to kill her, then himself. He also reportedly pointed the gun at his own head while making threats, and at that point, she decided to jump from his moving vehicle as it was traveling along Preacher Roe Boulevard, injuring herself in the process.

She said she then ran to Walmart, realized it was closed, then ran toward Taco Bell, but returned to Walmart and began banging on the door for help when she saw McKee driving in her direction. She was able to get a Walmart employee's attention, she said, and saw McKee parked in the north edge of the store parking lot before he ultimately left.

She told Stuart she couldn't remember how the suspect had regained control of the firearm and described it as a small .22-caliber gun.

Meyer and Stuart went to McKee's home to speak with him and he reportedly told the officers he'd seen the victim with another man at Casey's and confronted her about cheating on him, and denied the two had ended their relationship.

He further stated she had been yelling at him, and he had the gun in the waistband of his pants and placed it on the passenger seat of his vehicle because he was getting ready to drive, but the victim took it and began running.

He denied brandishing it in an aggressive manner, but said he had the gun in the waistband of his pants as he was driving to Casey's and couldn't provide an explanation as to why he'd driven there with it in his pants but decided to remove it before he left the business, Stuart noted.

McKee reportedly admitted he'd refused to take the victim home and instead said they were going to "drive around and talk," and said the gun was in his lap at that point. He said the victim threatened to call the police and had exited the vehicle at a stop light, not while it was moving, and again denied he'd made any threatening statements during the drive from Casey's to the point the victim exited the vehicle.

Later in the interview, he said the argument had continued in the vehicle and he followed the victim to the Walmart parking lot and saw her looking at him as he drove up, then run back to Walmart. He told the officers he waited in the Walmart parking lot to watch what was going on and see if the "cops" were still there.

While the officers were still at the house, but after he had been handcuffed, McKee asked to go inside to put his dog up and get his keys, and it was then a Glock handgun was found lying on a couch with the number "22" engraved on the side.

He confirmed to Stuart it was the gun he'd had earlier, and it was found to be loaded but without a round in the chamber. The magazine was removed and the firearm was confiscated, Stuart added.

As of Tuesday afternoon, McKee is held on $25,000 bond; he pleaded not guilty during an initial appearance Monday and, and stated his intention to apply for a public defender, court records show.

He is set to appear before Ray on Thursday for a counsel status hearing.