Circuit Attorney News & Updates

Man charged for murder at Drury Inn and Suites
January 18, 2015

Lanugage from the Probable Cause statement: 

The victim, Scott Knopfel, was the night manager of the Drury Inn and Suites. Police were called to the Drury Inn and Suites at approximately 2:55am. When police arrived, they discovered Mr. Knopfel deceased behind the front desk. Mr. Knopfel was killed by two gunshots, one to the chest and one to the head. Surveillance video was able to capture the last minutes of Mr. Knopfel’s life. In the video, the defendant approaches the front desk and engages Mr. Knopfel in conversation for approximately one full minute. The defendant then pulls a revolver from his pants and points it at Mr. Knopfel. The defendant vaults over the front desk. Mr. Knopfel opens a drawer that contains US Currency and the defendant is seen bending over it, appearing to take something out of it. When police arrive, there is nothing but change left in the drawer that should contain paper US Currency. Police also found change on the ground. The defendant then shoots the victim in the chest, a struggle ensues and the defendant shoots the victim in the head, killing him. The defendant flees out the front door. Parts of the surveillance video are then released to the public, in hopes that someone will recognize the murderer. The SLMPD received a phone call from the Caruthersville Police Department with information as to the identity of the defendant. Both the Caruthersville Police Department and the Poplar Bluff Police Department have had numerous dealings with the defendant in the past. With the help of the Poplar Bluff Police Department, the defendant was taken into custody. During a search of a home used by the defendant, police found some articles of clothing that the shooter was believed to have been wearing during the murder, including the leather jacket. I met the defendant while he was in custody, and he appears to be the same person that I saw in the video. I interviewed the defendant’s mother; she told me that she believes that the person in the surveillance video is her son. In addition, a historical GPS trace of the defendant’s cell phone revealed the phone to be at the vicinity of Sulpher and Hampton during the time of the murder.

*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded guilty. 

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