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Two mid-Missourians charged with murder nine months after the death

After a man was shot to death nine months ago, two mid-Missourians have finally been charged with murder just this week.

Monroe County Deputies found Zachary Dawson dead from a gunshot wound to the head on February 19 in Madison, Missouri.

Two people, Jason Lage and Jessica Munoz, were taken into custody shortly after and charged with several things including hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence. But the two weren’t charged with murder until this week.

The investigation took nine months before murder charges were filed because the two suspects told several different stories throughout the investigation.

According to court documents, the first story Munoz told police is that she and Dawson were the only ones home at the time of the shooting and that he accidentally shot himself.

But just a few hours later, she told police she, Dawson, and Lage were all together drinking when it happened.

She said Dawson pulled the gun out to unload it and gave it to Lage and then she didn’t know what happened.

But after she was in custody, she told her cellmate Lage accidentally shot Dawson.

Court documents show Lage, on the other hand, told a friend Dawson accidentally shot himself, but later told another friend they were playing Russian Roulette and it happened during the game.

Then he told troopers he shot Dawson — but it was an accident.

He told another story to different investigators that Dawson shot himself.

But an autopsy revealed Dawson was right-handed but was shot on the left side of his head, so suicide was highly unlikely.

Both Lage and Munoz are now charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action as well as their original charges.

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