WARRENSBURG — Investigators made a pair of arrests, including one Tuesday evening in Sedalia, in the shooting death of Warrensburg nightclub owner William “Blaine” Whitworth.
Whitworth, 25, was found shot to death in front of his home at 9:30 p.m. Saturday after Warrensburg Police Department officers responded to a “shots fired” call in an east-side Warrensburg neighborhood.
According to a WPD press release, at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Reginald L. Singletary, 27, of Warrensburg, was arrested in Sedalia and returned to Warrensburg for questioning by the Missouri Rural Major Case Squad. After questioning, Singletary was booked on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. Then, just after midnight, WPD officers arrested Ziyad T. Abid, 23, of Warrensburg, also charging him with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Both men were formally charged Wednesday afternoon and both could face life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder. Bond was set at $1 million for each suspect. Additionally, Abid must surrender his passport and any documents that would allow him to travel outside the continental United States, as well as his pilot’s license.
According to court records released Wednesday evening, after his arrest Singletary reportedly told police he shot Whitworth in the driveway of his home Saturday evening.
“Singletary further stated that he killed Whitworth at the request of Ziyad T. Abid in exchange for money from Abid,” the release read.
Warrensburg Police Chief Bruce Howey told the Democrat Wednesday morning that both men were arrested without incident following some 490 work hours put in by 35 investigators with the major case squad, which was activated Tuesday morning. Officials are releasing little info on the crime, and Howey declined to speculate on a motive or whether there was a past relationship between either of the two men and Whitworth, who owned two nightclubs in downtown Warrensburg.
Stressing the need to protect the case against the two men, Howey also declined to say whether investigators expect to make other arrests, however, he did say that the major case squad will remain active as it pursues other leads in the case.
“Absolutely (they will remain active),” Howey said. “We have 35 investigators in today. It will be a full day of following leads at the least.”
Although Whitworth’s funeral service will be held Saturday in Garden City, friends and employees have planned a candlelight vigil in his honor Wednesday evening in Warrensburg. According to a Facebook page dedicated to the vigil, about 1,000 people were expected to attend.
Police asked that anyone with more information call WPD at 660-747-9133.