Jury selection begins Thursday in Neal murder case

Jury selection begins Thursday for a Roby man accused of murdering his wife before leading authorities on the longest manhunt in modern county history.

Neldon H. Neal, 62, faces second-degree murder charges when his trial begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday. The jury will be selected Thursday and Friday in Moniteau County, and then bused to Pulaski County.

Neal made national headlines in March 2007 when an altercation with his common law wife ended when he allegedly shot her in the chest. He disappeared into the woods with a pair of handguns and with the help of four women accomplices, who provided supplies and even newspapers detailing his account, eluded authorities for 62 days.

Neal, who lived inside a hollowed log for a week after the shooting, was finally tracked down with the help of federal agents in a remote area of the Mark Twain Forest along the Gasconade River in Laclede County. He was arrested without incident.

Neal pled guilty in August to illegally possession firearms and was sentenced to 16 years, eight months in federal prison without parole. He will serve it consecutively with the remaining nine years of a previous prison term on an armed robbery count.

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