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Jefferson City man gets life in prison for 2019 Thanksgiving murders


A Jefferson City man was given two life sentences Monday in the shootings of a boy and a woman on Thanksgiving in 2019.

Judge Cotton Walker sentenced Torry Upchurch to two consecutive life sentences on two charges of second-degree murder. Upchurch pleaded guilty to the charges in January. Prosecutor Locke Thompson asked for the two life sentences to run consecutively, while the defense asked for two 20-year sentences to run concurrently.

A probable cause statement says Upchurch first knocked on the door to an apartment in the 1300 block of West McCarty Street on Thanksgiving 2019 and shot the person who opened the door, 17-year-old Earle Key, in the face with a 9 mm handgun. The two knew each other, police say.

Upchurch then allegedly shot 33-year-old Shantae Hill-Cook multiple times in a vehicle at 2300 block of Southridge Drive. Police say Upchurch told her to stay in the car before firing.

A witness told police Upchurch drove the woman's car from the scene. Court documents say he later showed up at the police station and told people in the lobby about details of the killings.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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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Chris Bryant

Chris joined ABC17 in April of 2021 as Chief Photographer.
A multi-award-winning photographer whose career has spanned over 20 years in broadcasting from television and radio and included over 60 individual awards for photography, reporting, and editing.
Chris has covered stories from hurricanes to the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Royals’ two World Series runs and stories from Florida to Utah and Arizona.
Chris is married and a father of four.


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