Murder suspect details robbery gone awry
Thu, 10 Oct 2013 15:59:32 GMT —
Gary Wiltermood wanted to get high.
Michael Studer knew where they could get some money.
These were the motivations of the two men now charged with second-degree murder in the death of Adrienne Arnett, a 61-year-old clerk at the Abel's gas station at 100 Shinn Lane in Hannibal.
Wiltermood's account of the planning and execution of their plan is contained in a three-page statement made to investigators after the early Tuesday shooting.
His girlfriend convinced him to turn himself in to police, according to the documents.
â??(She) talked me into coming to the police department,â?? Wiltermood said. â??Someone said I could tell them I was just in the station and didn't know who (Studer) was.â??
According to the probable cause statement:
Wiltermood, 22, lived at the Best Way Inn motel at 612 Mark Twain Ave. for about two weeks before he met Studer, 30. Wiltermood was dating a woman named Kristal Tressler.
The night of the shooting, the trio was driving around in Tressler's car.
â??As we were driving, I made the comment that I needed some weed or meth to get me going,â?? Wiltermood told police. â??I said it quietly to Mikey because Kristal did not know I have used meth.â??
Studer sat quiet for a minute.
â??Mikey said if he could get a banger, which meant a gun, we said we could go hit a lick and come up,â?? Wiltermood said. â??I took that as Mikey meant we could rob someone and get money.â??
Studer suggested that they rob the gas station off Route MM near Hannibal Regional Hospital. Wiltermood said that he knew where they could get a gun. He stashed a pistol he purchased a few months earlier in the woods near the hotel.
Studer, Wiltermood and Tressler went to the Walmart Supercenter on Stardust Lane where they met another man only referred to as Cuda.
The statement is unclear as to who traveled to the Abel's gas station. Studer began to explain how they would rob the store. Wiltermood would drop him off a distance away from the store and then purchase $10 gas. He would go into the store and pay and Studer would come in and demand money.
â??(At) some point Mikey said he would take care of us and just to keep our mouths shut,â?? Wiltermood said.
Studer got out of the van.
Wiltermood pulled up to the pump, got gas and went in to pay.
Studer came into the store with his face covered. He pointed the gun at the clerk and demanded the money.
â??When Mikey was hopping around he swung the pistol at her and hit her in the breast area,â?? Wiltermood said.
Arnett waved a clipboard. Studer fired three shots. Wiltermood thought the first two were warning shots. After the third shot, he knew Arnett was hit.
â??...She clutched up and made a really weird gasping noise,â?? he said.
Wiltermood got back in the van and stayed silent. He couldn't decide whether to leave Studer at the gas station or to let him jump back in the van. He drove off and Studer chased the van to the outer road. He got in the van.
â??He said, 'I told you (expletive) that I wasn't playing,'â?? Wiltermood told investigators.
Studer demanded that they drive to the riverfront. There he threw the gun and some of his clothing in the Mississippi River.
The group parted ways, and Wiltermood said that he went to a friend's house for several hours before his girlfriend convinced him to go to the police department.
Both men have criminal histories.
Studer received a suspended sentence and was allowed to remain free of jail after his Feb. 8 plea to charges of third-degree assault and misdemeanor property damage charges.
He pleaded guilty June 18, 2012 to domestic assault and marijuana possession. He received a 90-day jail sentence on those charges.
Wiltermood's criminal history extends to various counties throughout Missouri and Illinois.
On May 24, 2009 Wiltermood was charged with a felony escape and misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property and criminal trespass to property in Schuyler County. Records show that he pleaded guilty to that charge and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Wiltermood was arrested March 12, 2011 on charges of failing to register as a child sex offender and possession of a controlled substance after a traffic stop in Macomb. Police found nine pills, including Adderol, inside the car.
The original police report said that Wiltermood registered as a homeless sex offender before moving to the Schuyler County town of Huntsville.
The sex offender charge was eventually dropped, but Wiltermood was convicted May 25, 2011 on the possession charge. He received a one-year state prison sentence, according to the McDonough County Circuit Clerk's Office.
Vickie Brooks, of Ottawa, Ill., contacted KHQA Thursday morning on behalf of her son Wiltermood.
In her statement she said that her son was a typical boy growing up, but he had someone run-ins with the law. She expressed her sympathy toward Arnett's family.
â??The reason I'm contacting you is because I just want Ms. Arnett's family to know how sorry our family is,â?? she wrote. â??Our hearts and prayers will be with them forever I know its not gonna bring her back but I hope they will be able to carry on her memory everyday.â??
When asked to elaborate on her son's criminal history, Brooks said that she was advised by an attorney to only extend condolences to the Arnett family.
The Arnett family has declined comment as of Wednesday.