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Police in Missouri have arrested four people believed to be involved in the killings of a Missouri couple found shot to death on their front porch in November, including the ex-wife of one of the victims.
Alex Chute, 28, and his finance Brianna Sproul, 30, were found dead on the porch of their Willard, Missouri home on the morning of Nov. 14 by one of their neighbors. The slain couple had been shot multiple times as Chute’s 4-year-old daughter hid inside, according to The Springfield News-Leader.
Authorities now believe the killings were a plot by Chute’s ex-wife, Theresa Cox, who allegedly enlisted the help of three others to carry out the gruesome murders and hide evidence in the case, according to court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.
“When you have a double homicide in a community in the size of Willard, where so few major crimes of this nature occur, it’s essential that the case facts are rightly divided and the right conclusions are drawn as early as possible,” Willard Police Chief Tom McClain told Oxygen.com of the arrests.
Cox, 27, is now facing charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and two counts of armed criminal action. She is alleged to have conspired with her coworkers at a local Pizza Hut, who are believed to have helped her create an alibi and hide the weapon used in the shooting, according to the probable cause statements.
Her boyfriend, 20-year-old Duncan “Mixxi” Bogle, who is the suspected gunman in the killings, is facing two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, and a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
Matthew Plumb, 43, who worked with Cox at the Pizza Hut and allegedly helped get rid of the gun, is also facing charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, and tampering with evidence. A fourth man, 18-year-old Therin Plumb, has been charged with tampering with physical evidence.
McClain declined to discuss the motive in the case, but court documents reveal that Chute and Cox had been in a bitter custody battle over their daughter at the time of the slayings.
One of Bogle’s close friends allegedly told investigators that Cox had been pressuring him to have him kill her ex shortly after the two first met in August, according to the probable cause statement.
“[The witness] said Bogle always came to him, crying, and said he felt pressured and didn’t want to do it,” the court records state.
The same witness said Bogle had called him around 11 p.m. on November 13, “screaming, crying and hyperventilating.” Bogle allegedly told his friend that he was in Willard with Cox’s car with a gun and had been instructed by Cox to carry out the shootings, the court records state.
The friend allegedly told Bogle not to do it, but Bogle hung up and didn’t respond to any of the friend’s text messages from that point. When he did get in touch with Bogle a few days later after hearing news reports of the killings, the witness allegedly confronted Bogle, saying, “Mixxi, you killed those people,” according to the probable cause statement.
The witness told police that Bogle allegedly replied, “Sometimes some people have to die.”
Investigators also discovered a series of suspicious text messages between Cox and Bogle that seemingly reference a planned event just days before Sproul and Chute were killed.
“Change in plans possibly for Friday,” Cox texted Bogle on Nov. 11, according to the documents.
Bogle replied just one minute later, writing “Are you sure?”
Cox responded that they needed to discuss it when Bogle got home later that day, but “possibly.”
Two days later, Bogle sent another message to Cox seemingly referencing Friday night — the same night investigators believe the couple was killed.
“I need some time to air out my mind and get into a good place for tomorrow,” Bogle allegedly wrote, according to the probable cause statement.
When investigators spoke with Matthew Plumb — who had been the evening manager at Pizza Hut where Cox worked — he allegedly said that he “knew Cox was planning to have Chute murdered,” court documents said.
Authorities said Plumb admitted he helped Cox devise a plan to report her handgun stolen before the murder and helped her “maintain an alibi.”
“Matthew said he suggested that she plan the murder for a night when they were scheduled to work,” the probable cause statement reads.
As part of the plan, Cox allegedly pretended she was having car troubles that night, preventing her from making deliveries. This was so she could stay and work at the restaurant and Bogle could borrow her vehicle, authorities said.
Plumb allegedly said he had also attempted to recruit his nephew, Therin Plumb, to help with the murders. Therin Plumb allegedly later told investigators that he agreed, but he later backed out of the plan, authorities said
Matthew Plumb said after the murders were carried out, Bogle returned to the restaurant and was “very upset,” the court documents state.
Authorities said Matthew Plumb reported that he took Bogle home, then got rid of the 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun and magazine in Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park. Therin Plumb and his girlfriend had apparently been with Matthew Plumb when he disposed of the weapon, police said.
Shortly after the slayings, witnesses reported that Cox and Bogle dyed their hair, then got a ride to a truck stop in Joplin, Missouri. They were later arrested in San Francisco by the U.S. Marshals, McClain said.
Matthew and Therin Plumb have also been taken into custody.
McClain told Oxygen.com that authorities believe they have the “primary parties” involved in the slayings in custody, but said it’s possible additional arrests could be made as the investigation continues.
McClain said the police department received “outstanding assistance” from outside agencies that made the arrests possible.
Chute’s mother, Lisa Pinni, told local station KY3 that learning Cox and Bogle had been arrested was like a “sigh of relief.”
“We want to face them,” she told the outlet. “We want to look them in the eye and say why?”
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