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Weapons charges filed against Shannon, Douglas county residents with prior convictions


Felons who have allegedly been found in possession of guns have been recently been charged in Douglas and Shannon counties, in some cases related to complaints of harassment, paranoid behavior or the discharge of weapons near or toward houses.

In Shannon County, Frank Waldo, 49, Birch Tree, was charged in two separate cases, both of which were filed Feb. 26. Combined charges in the two cases are five felony counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a dangerous felon.

Shannon County Deputy Calvin Johnson reported in court documents that on Feb. 1, a deputy was dispatched to Waldo's home after someone reported what sounded like automatic gunfire. When he spoke to Waldo about the complaint the deputy was told someone else had been shooting and Waldo reportedly showed law enforcement a “makeshift firing range.”

Waldo reportedly pointed out the shell casings to the deputy and told him the visitor was done shooting; it was also noted the deputy at first didn't know Waldo was a convicted felon.

On Feb. 8, the reporting party filled out paperwork stating Waldo wears all black or camouflage and hides in the woods because he believes "the government is out to get him." The reporting party also stated Waldo had a lot of weapons, including guns, knives and a sword, and alleged that, because Waldo was shooting at them and other neighbors, they were afraid of being shot, noting he starts shooting every time they come home.

When making the report, the reporting party said a rabbit trap about 15 feet from their house had been shot by Waldo, and told law enforcement video was captured of an incident when the suspect was shooting as the reporting party was driving home with family members in the vehicle.

The neighbor made another statement on Feb. 13 that Waldo had been looking into the family home’s window, and two other witnesses confirmed the incident. Johnson said when he went to the reporting party’s property to investigate, he saw the rabbit box had been shot with what appeared to be a .22-caliber projectile, but he was unable to recover the projectile. He stated he did attempt to locate the position from where the shot was taken.

During further investigation it was found Waldo was disqualified from possessing a firearm because he had a prior conviction of felony robbery. When a search warrant was obtained, a 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun, an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, a 9 mm pistol, an AR-15 with no serial number that was possibly homemade, and "a lot" of firearm-related items.

In seeking charges and an arrest, Johnson reported he believed Waldo was a flight risk because he has ties to the state of Illinois and might also have ties to the Oath Keepers, a far-right antigovernment militia group, and is a danger to the community because of the complaints he has been firing guns near or towards neighbors’ houses.

The Oath Keepers have been described by independent terrorist watch groups including the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as a group of anti-government extremists that form a paramilitary group.

Johnson also noted Waldo's home was "well prepped for a home invasion of sorts."

Waldo has been released on $25,000 bail on the condition he submits to electronic monitoring and has no firearms. He has pleaded not guilty and is to appear April 16 before Associate 37th Circuit Judge Sandra Brewer for a trial setting. He is represented by attorney Jill Kimberly Turner of Kansas City.


In Douglas County, Brian K. Carter, 53, Mansfield, is charged with 12 felony counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and one felony count each of first-degree harassment and first-degree stalking.

Court records show a grand jury indictment seeking charges was filed March 6, and no probable cause statement has been filed. It is not required in charges filed by grand jury indictments.

According to the indictment, Carter, as someone convicted of 1990 Greene County charges of involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault and a 2008 Douglas County charge of unlawful use of a weapon, is barred from possessing firearms. The document states that on Feb. 26, Carter reportedly had seven rifles, including a homemade one; three shotguns; and two pistols.

Additionally, it is alleged that around Feb. 26, Carter committed first-degree harassment by sending several threatening and sexually explicit text messages, intending to cause emotional distress, and committed first-degree stalking by texting threatening and sexually explicit messages to the victim and threats to the victim’s boyfriend; the indictment states this text would have caused a reasonable person to be "frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed."

Court records show Carter was issued a summons on the charges, has hired Attorney Christopher Hatley of Ava to defend him, and is scheduled to appear for arraignment March 25 before 44th Judicial Associate Circuit Court Judge R. Craig Carter.

On Feb. 26, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and a count of failure to register as a sex offender, all felonies, were filed against Terry W. Butler, 32, Ava, in Douglas County. He pleaded guilty to those charges Tuesday and was sentenced.

A probable cause statement submitted by Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase alleges that on that day, members of the sheriff's department, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations in Springfield served a search warrant at Butler's house looking for child pornography. As a result of that search, two loaded handguns were found in the living room of the house, loaded and accessible by anyone in the house.

The statement further pointed out Butler was convicted of a felony related to viewing or taking an indecent photo of a minor in 2013 in Alaska, and had been spoken to a couple weeks prior about alleged possession of child pornography.

Degase said in speaking with another resident of the home, he learned Butler had taken all the firearms out of the house and Degase presumed that was because Butler was anticipating a search warrant, but the other household member said she and her husband brought the guns back to the house and were never told by Butler he had been questioned about child pornography.

Degase concluded his statement by mentioning Butler was not required to register as a sex offender in Alaska, but is required to register in Missouri and had failed to do so. Court records show Butler was arrested on Feb. 26 and initially held without bond before eventually being released on a reduced bond of $2,500 cash. The case was bound over to higher court March 18, and presided over by Presiding Circuit Judge R. Craig Carter.

Tuesday’s appearance was to be Butler’s arraignment, the records show, and appearing with attorney Christopher Hatley, Ava, Butler pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm. Carter, dismissing the other count and the failure to register charge, sentenced him to serve three years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, according to the records.

On March 3, also in Douglas County, Joshua M. Wood, 43, Nixa, entered an Alford plea to a count of unlawful possession of a firearm and was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison, with the execution of the sentence suspended on the condition he successfully completes three years of supervised probation.

An Alford plea is entered by a defendant that doesn't admit guilt, but admits the prosecution has enough evidence to convict.

Court records show Wood was charged in early January after a traffic stop allegedly uncovered illegal controlled substances, drug paraphernalia and two pistols, one of which was reported as stolen.

A prosecutor's complaint shows he was convicted of felony possession of controlled substance in 2000 in Greene County, and additional felonies in Greene County and at a federal level since then, the most recent being a December 2016 federal conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm.