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Cole County murder suspect has criminal history

A Jefferson City man charged with second-degree murder for a Cole County shooting on Friday previously pleaded guilty to other crimes, according to court records.

Austin K. Corrigan, 21, led police on a chase early Friday morning after they suspcted him of fatally shooting Clifton Withers, 63, in the 4500 block of Route E. Corrigan also shot at Withers’ wife, who was taken to University Hospital. She has since been released.

Corrigan was previously accused of stealing a car and holding people at gun point in December 2017. According to court documents, Corrigan stole a car in Osage City, and when the victims tried to block the road to keep Corrigan from driving away, they told police Corrigan pointed a shotgun at them.

Police originally suggested Corrigan be charged with first-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with a motor vehicle. He pleaded guilty to tampering with a motor vehicle and was sentenced to two years of probation for the incident.

Then, a little more than a week after he was accused of stealing the car, Corrigan was accused of breaking into seven vehicles at an apartment complex on Fairground Drive in Linn.

According to the probable cause statement, victims accused Corrigan of stealing two guns, a chainsaw and a speaker system. Corrigan pleaded guilty to stealing and was sentenced to two years of probation in September.

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