Former Missouri minister pleads guilty to murdering parishioner


Former minister pleads guilty to murdering parishioner


Reuters US Online Report Domestic News

Nov 09, 2011 13:58 EST

INDEPENDENCE, Mo (Reuters) – A former Missouri minister pleaded guilty on Wednesday to second degree murder and accepted a life sentence in prison for killing a parishioner he later eulogized at a memorial service.

David Love, 51, was charged last year with killing insurance agent Randy Stone. Stone’s family has said Love was having an affair with Stone’s wife, Teresa Stone. She has been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the case.

Love entered the plea Wednesday as Randy Stone’s relatives watched. The former minister was in tears during the court appearance, but made no comment, said Jean Peters Baker, prosecutor of Jackson County, Missouri.

“This gives finality to the family,” Baker said. “The family got to see him accept responsibility.”

Love also pleaded guilty to one count of armed criminal action, Baker said at a news conference. Stone’s relatives hugged tearfully at the conference but had no comment.

Love was accused of shooting Stone, 42, outside his office on March 31, 2010. Love later quit as pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Independence and moved to South Carolina, where he was arrested and charged about a year ago.

Stone was active at the church and Love gave his eulogy, asking “Why? Why him? Why now?,” according to a report early this year in The Kansas City Star.

“Without answers, death seems so cold,” Love said.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by David Bailey and Jerry Norton)

Source: Reuters US Online Report Domestic News

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