The widow of a Gallatin, MO, man found dead near the Grand River as well as her brother have been charged with first degree murder, joining three other suspects. Already charged in the Sept. 5, 1999, shooting of B.J. Stufflebean is Michael J. Holman, who was on leave from the U.S. Marines on the night of the shooting. Prosecuting Attorney Mike Arnold also charged Stufflebean’s wife, Melissa, and her brother, Randy Asher, with first degree murder and armed criminal action.

In his felony complaint against the siblings, Arnold wrote that they “aided and encouraged” Holman to kill B.J. Stufflebean. Their bond was set at $100,000 each; Asher remains in the Livingston County Jail while authorities plan to extradite Melissa Stufflebean from Oklahoma.

Intrigue involving the brother and sister team surfaced when Asher testified as a prosecution witness at Holman’s preliminary hearing. Asher testified Holman shot Stufflebean in self-defense after being attacked with a knife. The fight occurred after Stufflebean confronted Holman with his suspicions that his wife, Melissa, and Holman were having an affair.

Daviess County Sheriff Tom Houghton, however, said he’s not satisfied with Asher’s account of the shooting. “He had been asked about a knife before, but he never mentioned anything until he testified in court,” Houghton said.

Asher also testified that he and his sister went with Holman to Iowa a few days after the slaying to destroy Stufflebean’s car beyond recognition.

Arnold said Melissa Stufflebean was a suspect in the case before her brother testified. He also said Asher was part of the investigation, too. Despite Asher’s testimony, Holman was ordered to stand trial on the shooting. Authorities recovered Stufflebean’s body under four feet of river water.

Authorities learned of the body’s location after being tipped off by a Gallatin bartender, who learned about the shooting from Asher.

— based on an article published by the St. Joseph News-Press