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story.lead_photo.caption Sandy Gallaspie

A Jefferson City man pleaded guilty Friday to an amended charge for his involvement in a 2015 murder in Moniteau County.

Moniteau County Judge Matthew Hamner sentenced Sandy Gallaspie, 58, to 25 years in prison, with that sentence to run concurrent with any other sentences he is serving.

Gallaspie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after prosectuors amended the original charge of first-degree murder.

In August, Suzanne Ponder, 48, of Jefferson City, pleaded guilty to felony abandonment of a corpse in this case. She also had been charged with first-degree murder, but prosecutors amended the charge. Ponder was placed on five years of supervised probation and ordered to serve 60 days in jail but given credit for time served. If Ponder violates her probation, she could face up to four years in prison.

Gallaspie and Ponder were charged for the Nov. 24, 2015, death of Jon Williams, of California, Ponder's ex-husband.

Cole County prosecutors dismissed abandonment of a corpse charges against Ponder and Gallaspie in July.

Ponder and Gallaspie were charged in June 2019 with abandonment of a corpse in Cole County after authorities found human remains in the 2700 block of Bess Hill Road. The murder charges were filed in Moniteau County soon after.

Charging documents filed in Moniteau County Circuit Court showed Ponder acted with Gallaspie in Williams' death by luring Williams to the low-water crossing on Mount Hope Road in Moniteau County where Gallaspie shot him.

This investigation began when a Cole County inmate asked to speak with a detective, claiming to know where a body was buried and that the victim might have been shot to death before being buried, according to probable cause statements from the Cole County and Moniteau County sheriff's departments.

Members of the two sheriff's departments and the Missouri Highway Patrol went to a residence in the 2700 block of Bess Hill Road. The property owner allowed authorities to search the property with cadaver dogs, which indicated there were human remains on the property but couldn't give an exact location.

The inmate was taken to the site and directed authorities to a specific area of the property, where a nearly complete human skeleton was uncovered.

The inmate was interviewed again and admitted he had assisted in burying the body. The inmate told authorities Gallaspie had personally told him he murdered Williams at the low-water crossing on Mount Hope Road in Moniteau County.

After the murder, the inmate said, he sat in the home of Ponder and Gallaspie and talked about how and where to dispose of Williams' body. He said Ponder and Gallaspie were in a relationship at the time.

Ponder told the inmate she had lured Williams to the creek under the guise of using methamphetamine. She drove Gallaspie to the creek, dropped him off, then picked up Williams and dropped him off. Once there, the inmate said, Gallaspie approached the vehicle, opened the door and shot Williams once in the chest.

The inmate said Gallaspie told him he dragged the body from the car. Later, the inmate said, Gallaspie contacted him to have him assist in disposing of the body on Bess Hill Road. Authorities noted this property was owned by Gallaspie's former boss. The inmate claimed he and Gallaspie had used a tractor to dig the hole, put Williams' body in the hole, then backfilled it with dirt to conceal the corpse. Gallaspie's boss told authorities Gallaspie and the inmate were the only ones to have keys to the tractor that was used.

Gallaspie admitted to killing Williams after being taken into custody, according to a Cole County Sheriff's Department probable cause statement.

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