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Man charged with deadly lake shooting appears in court

Miller County Circuit Court


A Hickory County man charged in connection with a deadly shooting at the Lake of the Ozarks appeared in court Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors charged Tonka Ponder in July with assault and armed criminal action after the shooting, which involved two motorcycle clubs. The shooting killed one person and injured four others. It happened outside Casablanca Pub and Grill in Lake Ozark.

Ponder appeared for his arraignment at the Miller County Courthouse on Wednesday morning. The hearing lasted several minutes. The judge scheduled a case review for Ponder for Nov. 3 at 9 a.m.

After the hearing, Ponder's attorney, Andrew Jeffrey Rehmer, declined to comment on the case.

According to a probable cause statement, investigators found surveillance video showing a shooting victim identified as B.C. was in a fight outside the bar when he pulled a gun on Ponder, who was fighting another person. Ponder drew his gun and shot B.C., who died at the scene, court documents say.

In the days after the shooting, Lake Ozark officials said they believed it was the first deadly shooting on the strip in Lake Ozark.

The arraignment fell on the same day as the start of Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said it will have additional staff in the lake area for increased traffic ahead of the event.

The five-day event will take place from Wednesday to Sunday. The Bagnell Dam will be closed for MoDot repairs this year, but the Bagnell Dam businesses will remain open.

Court and Trials / Lake of the Ozarks / Local News / Miller / News / Shooting / Top Stories
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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.


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