MICHAEL A. NUGENT PHOTO
MICHAEL A. NUGENT Credit: TEXAS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

A Texas County man found guilty of first-degree murder will be sentenced on Jan. 4.

Michael A. Nugent, formerly of Eunice was found guilty in a bench trial before Circuit Judge Bill Hickle. In addition to the murder charge, Nugent was also found guilty of unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action.

With the death penalty waived in the case, Nugent will receive a life sentence without the chance of parole.

Nugent was convicted in the death of Crue D. Ridenoure, 30, of Willow Springs.

Nugent told associates he was irate that he’d been sent to the county jail in Houston after someone led a county deputy on a chase on Oct. 9, 2019.

A Mountain View man who bonded Nugent out at about 5:30 a.m. the day of the murder said the ride from Houston to Nugent’s Wallen Road residence was focused on one topic: Nugent saying he would get even with Ridenoure.

Shortly after 7 a.m., authorities received a distressing call from Highway W and Highway 17 in the Midvale community that a man was wounded on the east side of Highway W and a motorcycle had been seen earlier where two men fought. According to court documents, Ridenoure told first responders and a passerby that Nugent shot him.

Scattered around the scene were .45-caliber shell casing, two green cloth gloves, a black glove, a damaged black cellular telephone and blood. Ridenoure was pronounced dead at Texas County Memorial Hospital.

Officers with the Texas County Sheriff’s Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol began a search for Nugent, and he was arrested by the patrol with a woman on the way to a friend’s residence in Mountain View.

Nugent is already in prison on an unrelated assault charge. He also is the defendant in a civil lawsuit related to the death.

TEXAS COUNTY MURDER

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