Conflict means Mo. AG will prosecute Arnett murder case

Michael Studer, 30, and Gary Wiltermood, 22

The new Marion County prosecuting attorney won't try the murder cases of two men charged will killing a Hannibal gas station clerk due to a conflict of interest.

Instead, the Missouri Attorney General's Office accepted the case. Prosecutor David Clayton says he was privy to details of the case communicated between co-defendants Michael Studer and Gary Wiltermood and their attorneys.

Missouri law requires attorneys to recuse themselves if such conflicts arise.

Clayton was appointed prosecutor for Marion County after Gov. Jay Nixon appointed former Prosecutor Tom Marion a judge.

Studer, 30, and Wiltermood, 22, are charged with second-degree murder in the Oct. 8 shooting death of Adrienne Arnett, 61.

The early-morning shooting took place at the Abel's Quik Shop at 100 Shinn Lane in Hannibal.

In an interview with investigators, Wiltermood said that Studer planned to rob the store for drug money.

Wiltermood's trial is scheduled to begin April 30 in Boone County before Circuit Judge Christine Carpenter.

Studer's trial is set to begin March 25 in Boone County before Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler.

The reassignment of the case to the Attorney General's Office could cause delays in both cases.

Clayton was unavailable for comment Friday.

The two men remain in the Marion County Jail on a $500,000 bond.