Benton man pleads guilty to his role in Advance homicide

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

BLOOMFIELD — A Benton, Missouri teenager pleaded guilty Monday to his role in the death of an Advance, Missouri man in April 2020.

Evan Dean Schrader pleaded guilty to charges off second-degree murder and first-degree robbery before Cape Girardeau County Judge Scott Lipke.

Schrader was to be tried by a Cape Girardeau County jury Jan. 11-13, according to Stoddard County Prosecutor Russ Oliver.

The charges against Schrader resulted from an investigation by the Advance Police Department and the SEMO Major Case Squad.

According to a probable-cause statement from Dexter Police Detective Cory Mills, authorities received a residential alarm at 4:47 a.m. on Jan. 28, 2020, at Robert L. Harwood’s Duckett Street residence. Harwood’s residence was equipped with a recording device, and authorities listened to the recording and heard the sound of glass breaking and a loud, obscenity-filled argument.

According to earlier reports, Advance Police Chief Donnie Bohnsack entered the residence at approximately 4:57 a.m. and found Harwood laying face down on the living room floor, and the Stoddard County Major Case Squad was activated to investigate his death.

Schrader and Joshua Richard Herron, then 41, of Advance, along with 16-year-old Dominique Glenn Haynes of Jonesboro, Arkansas, were identified as persons of interest.

Mills said officers interviewed Schrader, who admitted he, Herron and Haynes prearranged a robbery at Harwood’s residence, which was motivated by money.

Schrader, Mills said, reported he was familiar with the residence because he had worked there before and also said before the robbery, the three of them had snorted methamphetamine.

Mills’ statement said “Schrader further reported Herron kicked in the front door, flipped Harwood out of his recliner and choked the man.”

Dexter Statesman Editor Josh Ayers and Michelle Friedrich contributed to this story

Schrader, Mills said, admitted he took a loaded, snub-nosed pistol from Harwood’s recliner and gave it to Herron.

At that point, Mills said, Schrader admitted to ransacking the residence with Herron, but indicated Haynes never entered the residence.

Haynes, when interviewed, admitted the three first went to Harwood’s residence to “scout it out,” Mills said. He “admitted Herron took photos of Harwood’s residence and of Harwood asleep inside the residence with his (Herron) cellphone.”

They later returned and Schrader and Herron forced their way into the house, while Haynes ran back to Herron’s residence on the same street.

Herron was interviewed and admitted to forcibly entering Harwood’s home.

“Herron admitted Harwood was dead when he went inside, so he grabbed Harwood’s .38-caliber pistol and shot him …,” Mills said.

In his autopsy report, Mills said, Dr. Russell Deidiker indicated Harwood died of “complications of blunt injuries to the head, along with apparent neck compression, consistent with manual strangulation.

“There was also an apparent superficial penetrating wound to the left jaw, consistent with a gunshot wound.”

According to Oliver, there was no agreement between the state and the defendant as to sentencing, meaning the full range punishment will be on the table when Schrader is sentenced on May 2. He faces up to a life sentence on each charge.

Herron, Oliver said, is scheduled for a jury trial before Lipke April 26-28 in Cape Girardeau County.

A trial date has not been set for Haynes.

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