A Warrensburg bar owner was fatally shot by a man paid to kill him, according to court documents.
Charges were filed late Wednesday afternoon against Reginald L. Singletary, 27, of Warrensburg and Ziyad T. Abid, 23, also of Warrensburg. Both men were charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Blaine Whitworth was found suffering from gunshot wounds in the driveway of his home at 1006 Sunflower in Warrensburg. Police had responded on a shots fired call Saturday night.
Both suspects had been questioned. Singletary told police that Abid paid him to kill Whitworth, according to court documents.
A motive was not detailed nor how much Singletary was paid by Abid, according to court documents. Police aren't saying how the suspects knew Whitworth, but the two suspects were roommates.
Whitworth was the city's first homicide victim since 2009.
The arrests come less than 24 hours after the Missouri Rural Major Case Squad, consisting of about 34 officers from several agencies, met up in central Missouri on Tuesday, following up on 69 leads on the first day of the investigation.
Hundreds are expected to attend a candelight vigil for Whitworth outside Molly's Bar and Grill Wednesday night. Streets have been closed down. Whitworth owned both Molly's and Bodie's. Molly's was named after his grandmother.
Friends still talked about Whitworth in the present tense during interviews Wednesday. The two became friends at a very early age.
"Blaine is an incredible guy," Charlie Rutt said. "Blaine's mind was always working about what can I do next."
Warrensburg Police Chief Bruce Howey said the shooting has devastated the small town.
"It rocks this community," he said. "This (charges) will help to bring some feeling of security and safety back to our residents here."
Rutt said many of those who loved Whitworth are relieved by the arrests, but want their questions answered.
"I think they are finding comfort," Rutt said. "But the question that continues to remain is why. Why would you do this? Bad things happen for really petty reasons. And I have to believe it was over something very pretty."
Both men were ordered to have no contact with Whitworth's family.
In addition, bond was set at $1 million each. Abid must surrender his passport, driver's license and pilot's license. He cannot travel outside the United States, according to court documents.
A judge on Thursday denied bond for Abid, determining that he is a flight risk.
A woman who lives next door to the two suspects was shocked to hear about the allegations.
"They are quiet, nice, never angry. I had no problems with them," she said.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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