Skip to Content

Murder charges filed in last fall’s double killing outside Columbia

ABC 17 News confirmed charges were just filed Thursday after a worker at an asphalt company found two men’s bodies last September northeast of Columbia.

Darious Lucas, 25, is now charged with two counts of first-degree murder and armed criminal action, with a bond of $2 million. He is currently behind bars in Moberly for drug charges in Boone County.

“The Boone County Sheriff’s Department worked very hard in this case,” said Dan Knight,Boone County Prosecuting Attorney. “They’ve conducted a massive investigation.”

The body of James W. Richardson, 41, of Columbia, was discovered about75 feet from Mexico Gravel Road the morning of September 19. About one hour later, with the help of of a K-9 unit, Boone County deputies discovered a second body about 150 yards away, later identified as Kenneth B. Long, 42, of Mexico, Mo.

One of the victims’ cars was towed away as evidence. Detectives confirmed the victims were friends and had known each other for a long time. An early investigation revealed the men both had gunshot wounds, and they only been dead for a few hours.

“We were getting leads almost on a daily basis and there were things to follow up on,” said Detective Tom O’Sullivan. “So it’s been quite an exhaustive, intense investigation over the course of these last eight months.”

According to the probable cause statement, both victims were shot with a rare ammunition sold at only one place in Boone County. Detective O’Sullivan and Knight said they could not comment any further on what type of ammunition was recovered at the crime scene.

Court documents state Lucas’s girlfriend bought a box of that ammunition only weeks before the murders happened.

Lucas admitted to detectives he knew James Richardson and bought drugs from him. He also admitted he was planning to meet Richardson the night he was killed, but claims Richardson never showed up.

Cell phone records show phone calls between Lucas and Richardson just hours before his death. According to the probable cause statement, Richardson’s cell phone show he traveled from Lucas’s house to the abandoned trailer park on East Mexico Gravel Road where his body was found.

Knight said the cell phone records and cell tower information is just one piece of evidence connecting Lucas to the crime scene.

“Also statements of other witnesses,” Knight said. ‘Then also the rare ammunition, which was also another component of this investigation.

Court documents state detectives searched Lucas’s phone and found internet searches matching the rare ammunition used to kill Richardson and Long.

“The investigation is continuing,” said. Det. O’Sullivan. “By no means have we concluded the investigation. There’s still work to be done and it’s still a very active investigation.”

Knight said if found guilty of first degree murder, Lucas could face life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.

“We’re going to do whatever she can to seek justice in this case.”

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content