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Coonts Found Guilty by Jury; Jensen Murder Trial to Begin Monday in Waynesville

Coonts Found Guilty; Jensen Murder Trial to Begin
On Tuesday, Oct. 15, a Douglas County jury was seated to determine the fate of an eastern Douglas County man charged with two felony counts of receiving stolen property.
Danny Coonts, 67, of rural Buckhart, was found guilty of knowingly possessing two stolen ATVs on his farm.
Located on the farm by Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Long were two all-terrain vehicles: a 2008 Kawasaki 750cc 4×4 NRA model owned by Melissa Holt of Panther Creek in Texas County, and a 2007 Honda Rancher 500cc model owned by Leo Dowden of Manes in Wright County.
The Wright County Sheriff’s Department also assisted in the investigation.
The Douglas County jury deliberated for just 18 minutes before returning a guilty verdict on both counts. Each felony count carries from up to one year in the county jail or from one to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000, according to Prosecuting Attorney Roger Wall. Coonts waived jury sentencing and requested a Sentencing and Assessment Report to be completed by the Board of Probation and Parole.
Judge Craig Carter, who presided over the trial, set a sentencing date for Jan. 7, 2014. The state was represented by Prosecutor Wall and the defendant was represented by Laurie Johnson of Ava.
Wall stated that the theft of people’s personal property and pinpointing the guilty has been a constant goal of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department. He also said that he appreciated the efforts of all Douglas County juries. “It is always difficult to sit in judgment of your neighbor and fellow citizens.”
On another legal note, the week-long scheduled first-degree murder trial of Nathan Jensen, 28, of Seymour, is set to begin in Waynesville on Monday, Oct. 28.
Jensen is accused of murdering Kenny Stout, a 17-year-old Ava youth whose body was found one mile west of Ava next to a brush pile. Wall said he expects to call 27 witnesses and produce 41 exhibits at the trial.
Also, accused in the case is Christopher Jorgensen, 30, of Ava.
Jorgensen previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is set for sentencing in Clinton on Nov. 12.
Cases of both Jensen and Jorgensen were moved from Douglas County on change of venue requested by the defendants’ attorneys.