Hannibal murder suspect: "Every time a shot went off he was poin - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Hannibal murder suspect: "Every time a shot went off he was pointing the gun at her"

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Adrienne Arnett Adrienne Arnett
Michael Studer (left) and Gary Wiltermood Michael Studer (left) and Gary Wiltermood
Cuda Dodd Cuda Dodd
Krystal Tressler Krystal Tressler
Amanda Lehenbauer Amanda Lehenbauer
HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

A man accused of helping kill a woman at a Hannibal gas station told police that a need for drugs led up what he says happened in the hours leading up to the murder.

According to a probable cause statement, 22-year-old Gary James Wiltermood III of Hannibal says he was driving with his girlfriend Krystal Tressler and suspect Michael Studer - who he said also goes by Mikey Elzea - along with two others, named in documents as "Mandy," and "Cuda" at 2:45 a.m. Tuesday in Tressler's vehicle.

Wiltermood said he told Studer he needed marijuana or meth to get him going.

"Mikey said if he could get a banger, which meant a gun, he said we could go hit a lick and come up," Wiltermood said. "I took that as Mikey meant we could rob someone and get money."

"As we were driving, Mikey told me about a gas station off MM out by the hospital," Wiltermood said. "I told Mikey, 'I have a pistol.'"

Wiltermood said they went to the Best Way Inn, where Wiltermood used to live, and got a 32-caliber New England five-shot dual-action revolver that he recently bought from a guy named Chucky in Illinois.

"I bought the gun for $300 and was told it was clean," Wiltermood said.

Wiltermood said they went to Wal-Mart.

"Kristal, Mikey, and Cuda went in Wal-Mart," Wiltermood said. "Mandy made a comment she couldn't go inside because she was 'hot,' which meant she was being watched. Before they went in, Mikey said he was going to get some gloves."

Wiltermood said the group headed toward Abel's Quick Shop at 100 Shinn Lane in Hannibal.

"Mikey told me where the counter was," Wiltermood said. "He said he wanted me to get exactly $10.00 in gas and when I paid, he would come in behind me and told me to stay out of his 'line of fire,' which I took as out of his way," Wiltermood said. "Mikey said when he came in he would just 'do what he does.' At some point Mikey said he would take care of us and just to keep our mouths shut."

Wiltermood said they dropped Studer off at a bank so he could "come around back." He said the group drove to Abel's and pumped the gas.

"Cuda went inside the station because he had to use the restroom," Wiltermood said. "Everybody in the vehicle knew what was going on because Mikey was talking to all of us. After I pumped $10.00 in gas, I walked casually to the gas station front door, glancing out towards the semis to try to see where Mikey was at, but I did not see him."

Wiltermood said he paid with a $10 bill and then saw Studier in his peripheral view.

"I hopped to my right side and he was jumping up and down," Wiltermood said. "Mikey said something like 'give me the money.' He was wearing a ball cap, a camouflage jacket, something covering the front part of his face, blue jeans, and red and black tennis shoes."

Wiltermood said Studer then swung the pistol and hit 61-year-old Adrienne Arnett with it.

"I then saw him fire three shots at her," Wiltermood said.

"Every time a shot went off he was pointing the gun at her," Wiltermood said.

Wiltermood said he left Studer behind in the gas station and got back in the van where his friends asked him if Studer shot the clerk.

"I said 'yea' and said 'I think he killed her,'" Wiltermood said. "They said to leave him and I started taking off."

Wiltermood said Studer was running toward their van, but they left him behind, later picking him up on an outer road.

Wiltermood said Studer told him to drive to the river in downtown Hannibal, where he threw in some clothes he'd been wearing and the gun.

"I saw him throw it in the river," Wiltermood said. "Mikey did not throw his shoes, jeans or t-shirt in the river. He just threw his outerwear in the river from what I could tell."

Wiltermood said Studer told them he threw the gun really far.

"I put the van in drive and everybody decided that they were going to walk and asked me to go park the vehicle on a side street somewhere and then to go home," Wiltermood said.

"I went to my buddy's house and tried to clear my head up a little bit, Wiltermood said.

Wiltermood said everyone that was with them showed up 30 to 45 minutes later, when he said Tressler talked him into going to the police.

"Someone said I could tell them I was just in the station and did not know who the guy was," Wiltermood said.

Wiltermood identified a 1982 mug shot of Studer in a photo lineup Tuesday.

Police said the suspects made off with cigarettes and lottery tickets, but did not get any cash.

According to court documents, when Hannibal Police Corporal Grote got to the scene at 3:11 a.m. he said the Marion County Sheriff's Office and Hannibal Police Cpl. Luke Wilt were already there.

Grote said the north sliding door had been pushed open and was hanging askew.

Grote said Wilt and Fleming were looking through the building to make sure no one else was inside.

When he saw Arnett on the floor, Grote said he asked Wilt if anyone checked to see if she was still alive.

"He stated they had not as they needed to clear the building first," Grote said. Grote said he used lifesaving techniques until EMS told him she wasn't alive.

Grote said a cigarette display was knocked over and cigarettes were spread out on the floor.

Hannibal police walked surrounding fields and an outer road looking for any evidence that Studer may have left behind but didn't find anything.

On Wednesday, police arrested Wiltermood and Studer, both of Hannibal, and charged them both with second-degree murder. If convicted, they face ten years to life in prison. Cuda Dodd, Amanda Lehenbauer and Krystal Tressler  have not been charged.

 

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