Man convicted of Lake Ozark woman’s death 30 years ago to be released early after Supreme Court ruling

MACCREEK, Missouri — It’s been over 30 years since Trudy Darby was murdered in MacCreek. A judge ordered her killer released from prison by a 2014 Supreme Court ruling.

Trudy Darby was finishing his shift at the K&D Convenience Store in Macks Creek. She saw a suspicious man outside, so she called her son who was at home. Her son soon arrived, but Trudy was already gone. Her belongings were still in the shop window.

“She said, ‘There’s a strange man outside,’ and I want you to stay here while we try to close this shop,” said Waylin Darby, Trudy’s son.

He ran into the store and called for her.

“Everything was lying in the window. Her coat was still in its usual place. You know she was gone,” said Tamara Weidman, Trudy’s daughter.

Police soon arrived and began looking for Trudy. Retired Camden County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Mulder replied.

“The door is open, the lights are on, the cash register is open. Trudy’s son Waylon is there, but Trudy is not there. It went on into the evening, and several searches were made in the immediate vicinity. It gave me some hints,” says Moulder.

Darby’s body was found two days later in the Little Niangua River. She received two bullets to her head. Mulder was surprised to learn that Jess Rush was involved.

“I was a little shocked when it was revealed that Jess was involved. He was just a typical kid,” Mulder said.

Rush was 15 at the time. His half-brother Marvin Cheney was also charged with the crime. Cheney passed away in 2017.

KY3 covered the 1996 Rush trial. Evidence indicated that Rush admitted to others about his involvement. He wrote letters to another inmate and was used in court.

Rush was a minor at the time of the crime, and a new Supreme Court ruling on Thursday, Sept. 8 opens the bar separating Rush from the rest of the region.

“He doesn’t deserve to live a normal life. Ever. I feel like he needs to be in jail and he needs to stay there. It’s the only way I can feel safe,” Weidman said. Told.

The conditions surrounding his parole are still pending. The Missouri Department of Corrections told KY3’s Marina Silva that Rush has completed multiple rehabilitation programs and has had no problems in prison.

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