New judge will hear case of Hannibal men charged with second-degree murder

Studer, left, and Wiltermood, right
Posted: Nov. 29, 2013 8:51 am Updated: Dec. 13, 2013 10:15 am


HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The Missouri Supreme Court has granted the request of two Hannibal men charged in the Oct. 8 shooting death of an Abel's gas station clerk for a substitution of judge.

The state's highest court has ordered Adair County Judge Russell Steele to hear the cases of Michael A. Studer, 30, and Gary J. Wiltermood, 22. Both are charged with second-degree murder in the death of Adrienne Arnett, 61, of Hannibal.

Legal counsel for Wiltermood and Studer had asked Nov. 18 that Marion County Circuit Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd be taken off the case and for the case to be moved out of Hannibal. Bringer Shepherd granted the motion and referred the case to the Office of State Courts Administrator for reassignment.

Arnett was working at the Abel's outlet at 100 Shinn Lane west of Hannibal in the early morning when she died. Studer and Wiltermood were taken into custody by Hannibal police later that day.

Wiltermood told the Hannibal Police Department in a statement that Studer had planned to rob the store and that Studer was the one who shot Arnett. Wiltermood and Studer had hoped to rob the store and obtain money for methamphetamine.

Both men have been lodged in the Marion County Jail in lieu of $500,000 cash-only bond.