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Columbia man accused of murder in Boone County electrocution arrested


The Boone County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Columbia man on Monday accused of killing a Hallsville man in September, the department announced in a Facebook post.

Prosecutors charged Justin S. Trader, 29, on Friday with second-degree murder, vehicle tampering and first-degree property damage. He was not listed on the Boone County Jail online roster Monday night; the department said a booking photo is currently not available. A $100,000 bond was set.

Trader was charged in connection with a Sept. 11 crash and electrocution near Hartsburg. Andrew Moss intentionally crashed a Jeep into a utility pole, according to a probable cause statement.

Moss's sister told ABC 17 she's speechless about the charges.

Moss and another man stole the Jeep and planned to drive it into the Missouri River so its owner couldn't make a court appearance the next day, the statement says. Moss drove into the pole to cause damage before driving the Jeep into the river but was electrocuted by downed power lines when he stepped out, investigators wrote.

Another person -- labeled in the statement only by the initials T.R. -- was in the vehicle with Moss when it crashed and was there when he died, investigators wrote. The Jeep's owner reported it stolen the next day.

Trader gave Moss and T.R. the key to the Jeep and helped them plan the theft, the statement says.

The murder charge is classified as felony murder. Former prosecuting attorney Bill Tackett said felony murder --which is when people are charged with the death of a person during the action of committing a felony -- is supposed to discourage people from committing felonies.

"If you have two people, one person drives a car to a convenience store, the other person goes in to rob the convenience store, and the gun accidentally goes off and kills the attendant, both are charged with felony murder," Tackett said. "Both the guy driving the car and the person who had the gun, because there was a death during the commission of a felony."

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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