Four men were charged on Tuesday in connection with a double homicide in Moberly. Christopher A. Esry, 20, Travis A. Koenig, 29, Steven D. Bell, 22, and Aaron D. Bloss, 40, were all charged in connection with the homicides.
According to court documents filed Tuesday, the killings were the result of a drug deal gone bad. Esry allegedly told his wife he and Bloss were going to Columbia to commit a burglary on Dec. 27. Esry’s wife told police the men put guns in the vehicle when they left.
Esry, Bloss and Koenig were all allegedly in the vehicle when they went to Bud’s Place in the 600 block of Concannon Street in Moberly on Dec. 28 to steal drugs from Darren S. Tharp, 51, and Shane Austin Hare, 24. Bloss told police Esry held him at gunpoint and threatened to kill his family if he did not take part in the robbery, according to the court documents.
Bloss and Esry allegedly walked to the car Tharp and Hare were in, and Koenig allegedly agreed to be the “get-away” driver. Bloss told police he and Esry got in the back of Tharp and Hare’s vehicle, and Esry allegedly pointed a gun at the victims and demanded meth from them. The victims handed them the meth, and as Bloss got out of the car, he heard two gunshots and began running back to the get-away car, according to the court documents.
Police found Tharp and Hare dead in the vehicle on Dec. 29. Bloss told police Esry had said Tharpe and Hare would be an “easy pick because they’re lame,” the court documents said.
Bell later allegedly told Bloss he should burn his clothes and agreed to help get rid of the vehicle with Tharpe and Hare’s bodies in it by setting it on fire. Bell was allegedly trying to get a trailer to haul the car and the bodies when the men learned police had found the bodies in the parking lot of Bud’s Place.
Bloss is charged two counts of second-degree murder and is being held on no bond. Bell is charged with tampering with physical evidence and is being held on no bond. Esry is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree robbery and is being held on a $1 million bond. Koenig is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and is being held on a $1 million bond.
All four suspects are in the Randolph County Jail.