Charge filed in Higgins death

A charge of murder in the second degree, a Class A Felony has been filed against Jon Travis Shikles, 26, as a result of the investigation into the death of Travis Dean Higgins, 31, California.

According to authorities, the body of Higgins was found about 7 a.m. Thursday, April 7, at the edge of an alley in the 400 block of Stella Street. The location is less than three blocks from the Courthouse Square.

Missouri Highway Patrol investigators were called to assist California Police Department and the Moniteau County Sheriff's Department in the investigation. The area of investigation expanded from the location of the body to an apartment complex nearly half a mile away on Oak Street in California.

The Highway Patrol officially identified the body early Thursday morning as Travis Dean Higgins, 31, California. The Oak Street complex investigated included an apartment which official sources listed as a residence of the victim.

Shikles was taken into custody about 7 p.m. Friday. Arraignment is set for Tuesday, April 12.

According to the Probable Cause Statement, the charge of second degree murder was filed Saturday, April 9, after numerous witnesses were interviewed indicating the incident began at a local bar during the early hours of Thursday morning. As a result of the incident, the suspect is alleged to have pursued the victim to the 400 block of Stella Street and beat him causing fatal injuries. The body was found about 7 a.m. at the Stella Street location.

Physical injuries were apparent to the body, especially to the victim's face and head, and blood evidence on and near the victim. The Probable Cause Statement indicated the suspect made admissions he caused the death of the victim, corroborating statements made by witnesses to the reported incident.

According to Patrol Sgt. Paul Reinsch, an autopsy of Higgins was done Friday at 10 a.m., but the results have not yet been released to the public.

If convicted on this charge of Class A Felony Second Degree Murder, Shikles could face from 10 - 30 years in prison.

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