Hannibal shooting death echoes 18-year-old murder

Adrienne Arnett, 61, of Hannibal was found deceased at the at the gas station shortly after 3 a.m., according to the Hannibal Police Department.

The two men charged in the murder of a Hannibal gas station clerk made court appearances Friday morning.

Gary Wiltermood, 22, and Michael Studer, 30, are both charged with second-degree murder in Tuesday's shooting death of 61-year-old Adrienne Arnett.

The men made their court appearances from the Marion County Jail via video teleconference.

Their attorneys and family members refused to speak after the hearing.

Associate Judge John Jackson scheduled their preliminary hearings for 9 a.m. Oct. 28.

Studer is accused of shooting Arnett during the 3 a.m. robbery at the Abel's Shell Station at 100 Shinn Lane. In a lengthy statement given to police, Wiltermood told Hannibal police investigators that he drove Wiltermood to the gas station and participated in the robbery.

Wiltermood turned himself in to police later that day and gave his statement. Police arrested Studer later Tuesday.

Tuesday's shooting echoes a more than 18-year-old incident that took place at an Abel's Shell Station in Bowling Green, Mo.

In 1996, Audrey Jones and Guyetta Sumowski worked at a Bowling Green gas station with 21-year-old Jennifer Pribble. On February 9th a man shot and killed Pribble during a robbery.

Jones says Jennifer told her she covered the overnight shift because the other workers had families they had to take care of.

When then women heard about what happened to Arnett, that bad memory resurfaced all over again.

"I was like a shotgun in my gut and I wanted to throw up, here we go again another life lost," Jones said.

"It started tears and everything just flashed back again as to the phone calls of what happened to Jennifer, what took place that whole entire night," Sumowski said.

Jones and the other employees of the Abel's gas station in Bowling Green lobbied for a law they believed would increase security for overnight workers at convenience stores. Some portions of the bill were deleted including a provision that would require two employees to be on duty between midnight and five a.m.

There are some portions of the Jennifer's Law bill that did make it to law. The portions included having a video camera that covers the cash register of all convenience stores, better lighting, silent alarm buttons, a drop safe for cash deposits and a telephone that is easily accessible for all employees in case of an emergency.

"The world has gone crazy, it's not getting any better," Jones said. "But two people, we have proof that it does deter that person, oh well maybe I don't have a chance against two, to go in there. So we feel that one piece of legislation needs to be back. Retail lobbyists argued at that time that having two employees on staff wouldn't provide additional safety and would only put more employees in harm's way."

Both women say Pribble's murder remains difficult to talk about. They feel for Arnet's family and hope time will heal their emotional wounds.