15-year-old, 2nd degree murder, 2nd degree statutory rape, abandonment of corpse, age 53, Anthony Balbirnie, attorney general, Benton County MO, Boonville MO, Buffalo MO, change of venue, child endangerment, child molestation, choking during sex, Chris Koster, Cooper County MO, Dallas County MO, Darrell Moore, Greene County MO, guilty verdict, Judge Donald Barnes, jury, Khighla Parks, life sentence, maximum sentence, meth, Mile-Long Bridge, Missouri State Highway Patrol, plus 37 years, sentencing Sept. 1, sheriffs, Springfield MO, state’s witnesses, statement, tampering with evidence, Truman Lake
The verdict was announced this afternoon by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.
Prosecutors dropped charges of child molestation and child endangerment before the trial began.
The case was tried in front of Judge Donald L. Barnes in Cooper County on a change of venue.
In September 2012, Parks was transported to a house in Buffalo, Mo., for sex. After consuming methamphetamines, Balbirnie killed the girl by choking her during sex. Afterwards, Balbirnie disposed of her clothes, and wrapped up the victim’s body. Balbirnie then drove the girl’s body to the Mile-Long Bridge in Benton County, Mo., and dumped her body in Truman Lake.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 1, 2016. Balbirnie faces a maximum sentence of life plus 37 years.
“My thanks go out to the members of state and local law enforcement, and all the attorneys, for their many hours of work to get justice for this victim,” Koster said. “I hope the jury’s verdict will give the victim’s family and friends some measure of justice.”
The Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated the case.
The state’s witnesses, as listed by the attorney general’s press office, were Rowena Ament, Trooper Timothy Murrell, Hugh Fowler, Glenda Bradshaw, Bonnie Adams, Richard Chamberlain Jr., Sgt. Angela Maholy, Larry Warner, Amy Hartley, Kayla Alexander, Dr. Carl Stacy, Dr. Christopher Long, Dr. Jack Neill, Sherry Elfering, Larry Roller, Curtis Hunt, Mandy Britton, Sgt. Brad Beardon, Cpl. Jason Trammel, NSHP Criminalist Amanda Neely, MSHP Criminalist Jenny Smith, and MSHP Criminalist Shawn Bailes.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Darrell Moore, Joshua Harrel, and Gregory M. Goodwin.