Murder charges for Buddemeyer, Lewis upgraded to first degree

By: 
Dave Marner
Managing Editor

First-degree murder charges have been filed in amended complaint against the woman and man accused of shooting the woman’s step-father to death in a mobile home park in Bland in November 2018.

Preliminary hearings for both Brooke Allison Buddemeyer and Aaron M. “Foozball” Lewis were continued until May 1 during a brief hearing April 10 in Hermann.

Neither Buddemeyer nor Lewis was in  the courtroom. Gasconade County Prosecuting Attorney Mary Weston had filed an upgraded charge against each of the defendants the afternoon before. Both had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jessie Robbins.

In a hearing regarding Buddemeyer before Associate Circuit Judge Ada Brehe-Krueger during the 1 p.m. docket this past Wednesday, Weston requested to opportunity to file an amended complaint in court. She said she had already filed it electronically. Brehe-Krueger said she had seen the amended complaint and approved Weston’s request to pass the case to 9 a.m. on May 1 for a preliminary hearing announcement.

Regarding the case against Lewis,  identified in police reports as Buddemeyer’s boyfriend, Weston told the judge, “Essentially the same matter. We filed an amended complaint.”

The judge acknowledged the amended complaint against Lewis and also continued his next hearing until May 1.

Weston stepped outside of the second-floor courtroom to explain the situation to the family of deceased man following the proceedings. Weston told them neither of the prisoners were transported to the hearing since the charges were in the process of being upgraded. She then walked family members around the rotunda railing and across the rotunda from reporters to speak in private with them.

After stepping back into the courtroom briefly, Weston came back out to the hallway and told the Maries County Advocate and Gasconade County Republican newspapers that she would not “root through the weeds of this case” with them.

“I would like to ensure an impartial jury,” Weston said.

Weston said she needed the additional time to review the evidence which had been gathered before filing the upgrade to the murder charges against both Buddemeyer and Lewis. 

“This is serious business,” Weston said. “I’d rather undercharge them (initially) than overcharge them.”

She added that there was “a lot of information to process” with a case like this.

When asked what new information was learned since charges were filed back in November, she declined to comment further and stepped back into the courtroom.

A woman who identified herself as the sister of Robbins but who did not give her name, said, “We thought it should have been murder in the first degree the whole time.”

Robbins’ mother, two sisters and nieces were present at the proceedings.

Buddemeyer and Lewis both remain in custody in the Crawford County Jail in Steelville. 

Buddemeyer, who is also charged with the unclassified felony alleging armed criminal action, has a $750,000 cash or surety bond set by Brehe-Krueger. After pleading not guilty and waiving formal arraignment during a Jan. 9 court appearance, Buddemeyer was denied a request for bond reduction during a Jan. 23 hearing. Her preliminary hearing was continued to Feb. 6, again until March 6, and again until last Wednesday.

Lewis has a $500,000 cash or surety bond. He also waived formal arraignment on Jan. 9 and entered a plea of not guilty.

(With reporting by Roxie Murphy of the Republican’s and Advocate’s staff).