Murder charges filed against nephew, homicide investigation near Westview

Joplin News First

Newton Co Sheriff Chris Jennings states, James Bryant, 32, is being charged with murder. He is currently in Ottawa Co jail on unrelated charges

UPDATE 2: Tuesday afternoon shortly after 3:00 PM Newton County Sheriff Chris Jennings releases information that they have requested murder charges be filed on James H. Bryant, 32, white male. He is the nephew of the homicide victim, Robert Bryant, 55. His body was discovered last Saturday afternoon outdoors on property where they shared a residence, 15726 Finch Drive, about 1/3 mile north of Westview School.

“The Newton County Prosecutor has charged James Bryant with First Degree Murder, Armed Criminal Action and Abandonment of a Corpse. No bond has been set. James Bryant is currently in custody in the Ottawa County Jail on unrelated charges. An autopsy for the victim is still scheduled for Wednesday 06-03-20.”

Sheriff Chris Jennings

UPDATE 1: Saturday afternoon we told you first about a homicide investigation in Newton County. We shared exclusive images of the scene where Newton County Sheriff’s Deputies and Detectives began that homicide investigation on Finch Drive just north of Westview.

Now Monday morning the victim has now been identified as Robert L. Bryant, 55, of the address where his body was discovered. He had not been seen for nearly a week.

Sheriff Chris Jennings tells us more on what occurred in a news release.

                “On Saturday 05-30-20 the Newton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Neosho address in reference to a deceased person. Deputies responded to 15726 Finch Drive at 1336 hours. A neighbor had located a body partially hidden beneath a pile of debris on the property. The victim has been identified as Robert L. Bryant of that address. He is a W/M 55 years of age. Family members said he had not been seen since the previous Sunday but that he had not been reported missing yet. This is being investigated as a homicide. An Autopsy is scheduled for later this week. Newton County Detectives obtained a search warrant for the victim’s property and processed the scene. They have collected evidence and are now conducting interviews. The investigation is continuing at this time. We encourage anyone having information on this incident to contact the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Chris Jennings

If anyone has any information you can contact the Newton County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 417-451-8300.


ORIGINAL STORY NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. (Rural Westview) — Shortly before 2:00 PM Saturday Newton County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to private property regarding a body that was discovered outside. On Finch Drive, about 1/3 mile north of Westview School.

Sheriff Chris Jennings tells us this is currently a homicide investigation. 

After authorities gathered evidence on the property, outdoors, where the body was discovered, Detectives waited for a judge to sign a search warrant, so they could expand their evidence search which included a nearby residence. 

Authorities are still gathering information, it’s very early in the investigation. 

Newton County Coroner Dale Owens arrived and retrieved the body. We are told an autopsy will be scheduled to determine the cause of death. 

Authorities are not releasing a name until next of kin is located for the adult male. 

In regards to the homicide investigation, no one has been detained or arrested. 

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