Missouri suspect in 1991 killing of classmate denied bond
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A central Missouri man charged in the killing of a 14-year-old classmate in 1991 will remain in jail after a prosecutor said people connected to the case might be in danger if he was released.
William Christopher Niemet, 43, of Fulton, was denied bond Monday. Niemet is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Greg Jones, whose body was found in June 1991 near Russelville. He has pleaded not guilty.
Niemet’s attorney, Curtis Hanrahan, asked that his client be released on $100,000 bond but Cole County Associate Circuit Judge Cotton Walker denied the request, The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported.
Hanrahan said Niemet operates seven or eight restaurants, employing about 700 people, in Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. He said Niemet would surrender his passport, be under house arrest with an ankle monitor, and agree to not leave the state.
“My client has a family, is a business owner and has no mental health issues,” Hanrahan said. “If he were allowed to be on release, he will be here in court whenever he’s required.”
But Cole County Prosecutor Locke Thompson told Walker he had evidence and witnesses with information that wasn’t available when Jones was killed. He also said prosecutors believe Niemet was evading authorities who were trying to serve a garnishment before his arrest.
“If he would run from something like that, what’s there to keep him from running on this charge?” Thompson asked. “If he were released, then witnesses in this case would be in danger.”
Niemet, who was 14 at the time of the crime, and Jones were classmates. He was one of several people questioned in the shooting. A probable cause statement does not discuss a possible motive or whether the gun used to shoot Jones twice in the head was recovered.