Suspect in local scam charged in Ellington double homicide

By: 
Dave Marner

A man accused of exploiting an elderly Owensville couple out of $18,600 in late 2015 is charged along with an accomplice with the first-degree murder of an elderly Ellington, Mo., couple and the severe wounding of their friend during an armed robbery.

David John Young, 67, who listed a Leslie, Mo., address when he was arrested and charged Feb. 16, 2016, with felony financial exploitation of the Owensville couple, was supposed to be in Gasconade County Circuit Court on Friday, Oct. 20, to plead guilty in a case stemming from an Owensville police investigation.

Instead, according to court documents obtain from Reynolds County, Young and his accomplice, Timothy Boyd Callahan, 44, Farmington, Mo., were on the run after Callahan allegedly shot three Ellington residents “execution style” in the back of their heads, on Oct. 18. James R. Nance, 86, and his wife Janet L. Nance, 72, both died from their injuries. She died at a St. Louis hospital that afternoon. He died Oct. 21, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Their 73-year-old friend, Arlene Barber, who arrived at the home with Janet Nance during the robbery,  survived two gunshot wounds to the head and provided crucial witness testimony about their attackers including a description of both Young and Callahan and the “small royal blue car” the men were driving.

Investigators would learn a blue 1998 Pontiac Sunfire, which belonged to Young, was towed during the evening hours of Oct. 18 from Highway 32 near the Boss community, east of Salem, to Young’s residence back in Ironton,

A person who came in contact with Young the following day told investigators Young was traveling with Callahan and said that Young had “told them Callahan had shot three people in the back of the head and had to shoot one of them twice because they ‘wouldn’t die,’” according to the probable cause statement filed in the application for felony charges for both men.

On Oct. 21, the car was located at a residence in Ironton which was known to be Young’s last known address. His long-time girlfriend told investigators she last saw Young on Oct. 19 and said he was supposed to be in Gasconade County court the following morning.

Young had a 9 a.m. court appearance scheduled. His attorney was present.

Young never showed in court. 

He was on the run with Callahan.

A warrant was issued and his $50,000 cash/surety bond was revoked, according to Gasconade County court records. The warrant called for “nationwide extradition,” according to the probable cause statement filed by Reynold’s County Prosecutor Michael J. Randazzo based on the investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Reynold County Sheriff’s
Department.

“He’s been well traveled,” said Randazzo about Young’s extensive criminal history. “This was planned as a robbery. This wasn’t a scam. They went there to rob these people.”

On Oct. 26, investigators learned that Young and Callahan were staying at the Red Cedar Lodge on Highway 67 in Bonne Terre, Mo. Callahan had secured the room in his own name. However, they had left earlier that morning. But, investigators learned from motel video they were now traveling in a U-Haul rental truck with Arizona licence plates. Callahan had rented the truck in Poplar Bluff, Mo., under his own name and it was supposed to have been returned to St. Louis a day earlier.

On  Oct. 27, authorities learned the truck had been returned to a U-Haul center near Cincinnati, Ohio, and that Young had a daughter living in southern Ohio. The next morning, the Warren County Ohio Tactical Team executed a search warrant at the Best Western Motor Inn in Deerfield Township, Ohio, and took Young and Callahan into custody. Young was arrested on the outstanding Gasconade County warrant and held Callahan as a “person of interest” in the double homicide and assault.

Missouri State Highway Patrol and Reynolds County Sheriff’s staff interviewed both men in Ohio and learned from Callahan that they drove Young’s car to the Nance residence to commit a robbery. 

After being advised of his Miranda warning, Callahan admitted the two men were armed with a .22-caliber revolver and a 9 mm pistol. They stole an “undetermined amount of currency from James Nance, according to court documents. Callahan admitted to shooting James Nance with the .22 revolver. He also shot the two women when they returned to the home located about five miles west of Ellington along Highway 106.

Both men are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action, first-degree robbery, and one count of first-degree assault. Both are being jailed without bond.

Young had an arraignment hearing on Nov. 1 in Reynolds County was granted a request to seek counsel from the public defender’s office, according to Randazzo. Young is next scheduled for a Nov. 15 court appearance with a public defender.

Reynolds County Sheriff Tom Stout told FOX2 news in St. Louis the survivor’s eyewitness account was a critical to solving the case.

“Her help was very important, probably the most important one, even though she was shot in the head twice and her body was covered with blood, she still looked at us and gave us good information,” Stout said. “I’ve never seen anything like it, because she’s the one who called 911.”

Along with Gasconade County charge stemming from the Owensville police investigation, Young was also sought by St. Francois County on charges of financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch report,  citing a Daily Journal of Park Hills story from September, noted Young was one of three men attempting to scam an elderly couple into writing multiple checks for the painting of a barn.

KFVS television in Cape Girardeau, Mo., reported that Young and two other men were charged in September with exploitation of the elderly when the daughter of an elderly couple refused to assist Young in cashing a check for $4,800 for painting services. Two other checks for $3,400 each had already been cashed between Young and two other accomplices. The daughter told sheriff’s investigators an insurance adjuster told her the painting should have cost around $1,300 rather than the $11,600 the three men combined were attempting to collect.

Young was scheduled to be St. Francois County court on Thursday for an appearance on that felony charge alleging financial exploitation of the elderly stemming from a warrant issued in September. Court records show he posted a $25,000 surety bond on Sept. 25 and his arraignment was cancelled and rescheduled for yesterday (Tuesday) an then rescheduled for tomorrow (Thursday).

Owensville City Marshal Robert Rickerd’s investigation into Young’s dealing with an elderly Oakbrook Drive couple in late 2015 resulted in a felony count alleging financial exploitation of the elderly.

Young was alleged to have cashed three checks totalling $18,600 for driveway asphalt paving work he never provided. An accomplice, who was never identified, was seen spraying a “black substance” on the couple’s driveway while Young was in their residence but the work was never completed. Young had offered to completely repair the asphalt driveway for $36,000 but needed a deposit.

According to Rickerd, the couple paid Young on three different occasions by personal check in amounts of $4,200 (cashed Oct. 10, 2015), $4,600 (cashed Dec. 2 ,2015) and $9,800 (cashed Dec. 28, 2015) but work was never done. Rickerd said the couple identified Young from a Missouri Department of Revenue photo.

Young was sentenced by Franklin County Presiding Circuit Judge Gael D. Wood to three years in prison following a August 2009 guilty plea to felony stealing from a 2006 case. The sentence was suspended with five years of supervised probation which court records show he successfully completed in April 2012.

In July of 2000, he was found guilty of felony stealing in Circuit Judge Jeffrey Schaeperkoetter’s court and sentenced to four years in prison.

He was passing bad checks and pleading guilty to those types of charges back as far as 1992.

In June of this year, he was charged with a felony  (second offense) count of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle crash and related charges of failure to register a vehicle, driving while revoked, and operating without financial responsibility. Those charges are pending in St. Francois County and an arraignment was scheduled for yesterday (Tuesday).

Prior to the Oct. 18 violent incident, there were only two traffic tickets listed on the record of Timothy B. Callahan listing a Farmington or Potosi address, according to court records searchable on Case.net. There was one breach of contract suit and five other state traffic citations listed under the same name but without a hometown listed.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control and Violent Crime Support Unit provided assistance in the investigation along with state and federal authorities in Ohio.

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