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story.lead_photo.caption This Sept. 1, 2015 file photo shows a patrol vehicle belonging to the Callaway County Sheriff's Department. Photo by Fulton Sun file photo

County and law officials continue to sift through evidence in several high-profile cases generated in Callaway County during the last six months.

On April 28, Dale Lee Horton and his girlfriend, Jennifer Ann Grayson, were accused of murdering Horton's mother, Sherry Horton, and brother-in-law, Joshua Griffith, at their rural Callaway County home. Dale Horton and Grayson were arrested at a Columbia motel soon after the murders were discovered.

This case is in the scheduling phase, said Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson.

"In a lot of murder cases, what the judges prefer is that attorneys in each case give the judge a scheduling order," he said. "What we and the defense are doing is submitting a scheduling proposal. Those orders (were) turned in Thursday of this week."

Those scheduling requests will be reviewed by a judge who will release the official trial schedule.

On June 11, a red-haired, green-shirted man was detained for stealing a bottle of liquor from a local store. A press release from the Fulton Police Department misnamed the suspect, said Maj. Roger Rice.

"We found the actual person," he said. "The guy we said we arrested was the wrong guy. We actually arrested the guy that did it."

According to the initial police report, the suspect was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car. Subsequently, the officer conducting the arrest noticed a disturbance nearby, and while tending to the dispute, the handcuffed suspect escaped police custody.

"The suspect listed is Cory Dean Moehl, of Columbia," he said, noting the first suspect's name was reported erroneously. "As for the real Joey Christmas, it wasn't him. They do look a lot alike, but this guy used Joey's name as a fake name, that's all."

The case against Moehl is currently moving through the court system, Wilson said.

"There isn't a case until we file a charge," he said. "It's at the stage where everything for the case has been submitted."

Over the July Fourth weekend, Callaway County sheriff's deputies became involved in a manhunt for John David Belisle. Belisle, who was wanted on several warrants, evaded a police pursuit by driving his truck into a flooded Auxvasse Creek.

Belisle will make an appearance next week for his arraignment, Wilson said.

"He has a number of cases that he has pending," he said. "There were cases that were taken to the grand jury, and they're all set for arraignment on Oct. 11 at 9 a.m. That will be where he pleads guilty or not guilty, and the judge sets the trial date."

Two other suspicious death cases with Callaway County connections are also under investigation.

Thomas Noel Craig, 46, of Fulton, was found dead from gunshot wounds June 1 along a rural Johnson County road. The Missouri Rural Major Case Squad investigated more than 140 leads related to the homicide. The murder is still being investigated by the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.

"Unfortunately, it's still an ongoing investigation," Lt. Andy Gobber said. "There's nothing to update on at this time. Hopefully, we'll have something shortly."

In another incident, Steven Mullens, 34, of Columbia, was found dead in a car June 20 along Callaway County Road 268, just north of Interstate 70. Law enforcement officials said they were investigating his death as a murder before handing the case over to the Callaway County Sheriff's Office.

"The case is very active," said Lt. Clay Chism of the CCSO. "Deputies have been following up on leads as recently as this week."

He wouldn't comment on Mullens' cause of death.

"We're not releasing the cause of death so as to protect the integrity of the investigation," Chism said.

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