AR Man Pleads Guilty to 2016 Murder and Robbery in Big Piney

UPDATE:

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - A man from Mountain Home, Arkansas,  who is accused of killing and then robbing a man who lived in southern Missouri  has plead guilty on Friday. 

Michael Talley, 47,   pled guilty on Wednesday to the charges of Murder in the Second Degree and Robbery in the First Degree for his role in the killing of Keith Bridwell in Big Piney in August of 2016.

Pulaski County Missouri Circuit Judge John Beger set sentencing for March 14, 2018 at 1 p.m.

Talley faces the possibility of a sentence of up to two life sentences in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Talley’s co-defendant, Lindsey Debault, previously pled guilty to Murder in the Second Degree and Burglary in the First Degree.

Debault agreed to cooperate with the State and provide truthful testimony against  Talley. Her sentencing will occur once Talley’s case is complete.

ORIGINAL STORY: 

 A man from Mountain Home, Ark., is accused of killing and then robbing a man who lived in southern Pulaski County last week. Michael Talley, 47, was charged on Friday with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, robbery, and burglary.

Talley told a detective that he went to the home of Keith Bridwell on Friday, Aug. 5, with the intention of beating Bridwell to death with a baseball bat. He didn't do so because another man was at the house at the time. The probable cause statement against Talley says Talley said he was mad at Bridwell but it doesn't say why.

Talley told the detective that he went back to Bridwell's home the next day, Saturday, Aug. 6. After Bridwell invited him into the home, Talley told the detective, he shot Bridwell. When Bridwell tried to get away, Talley said, he shot him again in the side. Bridwell stumbled into the bathroom and fell, Talley said, and he followed him, put a towel over his head, and shot him at close range.

Jessie Armstrong, a neighbor of Bridwell's, says she wants justice, "I ain't done nothing but cry about it because like I said he's a good friend, good neighbor, I never had no problems with him and I hate for this to happen to him."

Talley told the detective that no one helped him with the murder.

When asked why, Talley said he was angry.

The Sheriff's office is still trying to figure out why Talley was so angry.

"We're looking at several different motives, we do have some statements from individuals but until we have a chance to really sort through them I'm a little reluctant to put a finger on there and say this is definitely the motive," said Sheriff Long.

Edited news release from Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long on Friday:

Friday morning, a man from Arkansas was charged in Pulaski County for the murder of Keith Bridwell, which occurred Saturday afternoon in Big Piney. The suspect, Michael Talley, 47, was apprehended by the Springfield Police Department on Wednesday evening after police were called to The Home Depot, where Talley and a woman were accused of attempting to steal some merchandise.

After the two were apprehended, it was discovered that the woman, Lindsay Debault, 26, had an outstanding warrant out of Pulaski County. Upon verifying the warrant, Springfield PD was advised by this sheriff’s department to place an investigative hold on Talley and Debault, due to both being individuals of interest in the murder of Bridwell.

Pulaski County detectives then traveled to Springfield, where they were able to obtain additional evidence and statements which led to an arrest warrant for Talley after Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman charged Talley, who has a bond of $2 million.

When Talley and Debault were initially arrested, an explosive device was discovered in their vehicle, along with additional explosive devices found during the execution of a search warrant on Thursday. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) were called in to assist with this portion of the investigation.

Debault is being held for outstanding warrants out of Pulaski and Webster counties for previous offenses. It is also anticipated that additional criminal charges will be filed against both for offenses they are suspected of committing throughout multiple jurisdictions pertaining to the Bridwell murder investigation.

Earlier Friday, a third person of interest, Travis Melton, 31, was arrested in Phelps County for multiple outstanding felony warrants. One of these warrants pertained to a felony charge out of Pulaski County, where Melton was accused by Bridwell of threatening to shoot him with a firearm last year. Melton is being questioned by detectives about the Bridwell homicide.


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