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Windsor homeowner chases, kills suspected thief

First-degree murder charges filed

Property stolen from this Windsor home in the 800 block of Jackson Street, seen Friday, led to a car chase and fatal shooting after midnight Thursday.
Property stolen from this Windsor home in the 800 block of Jackson Street, seen Friday, led to a car chase and fatal shooting after midnight Thursday. Photo by Chris Howell | Democrat
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Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct Mark Fielder's age.

WINDSOR — A Windsor homeowner has been arrested for killing a man he suspected of stealing from his property.

Mark A. Fielder, 63, is being held in the Henry County Jail for the shooting death of 41-year-old James R. Fannon. Fielder has been charged with first-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, and second-degree assault. He was issued a $500,000 bond, cash or surety.

Around midnight Thursday, Fielder witnessed two individuals in a car fleeing after allegedly stealing what one witness described as three fishing poles from his property.

Fielder, and two others, unnamed at this time, gave chase in his car and pulled over occupant Fannon and the driver on County Line Road.

The driver was pulled from the car by Fielder and pistol-whipped. A scuffle ensued while trying to detain Fannon and he was killed by a single shot to the head.

“After the shooting, the shooter drives off,” Pettis County Sheriff Brad Anders explained. “The driver of the vehicle with the deceased inside gets in his car and drives off, dumps the body and leaves it there for several hours before he contacts law enforcement.”

A call came into the Benton County dispatch at approximately 8 a.m. of a reported deceased subject lying in a roadside ditch. Benton County responded but ultimately determined the body to be inside Henry County.

The location where the body was dumped proved a bit problematic for law enforcement.

“It had three different counties involved, Benton County, Henry County, and Pettis County,” Anders said. “Notification to law enforcement wasn't made until several hours later, about the same time that Benton County got a call to their dispatch of the body in the ditch.”

Benton County dispatched deputies, but when they responded, they realized that one side of the road is in Benton County, and the other side of the road is in Henry County. Fannon’s body was on the Henry County side, so detectives from Henry County Sheriff's Office showed up and started to process the scene.

Deputies later realized the location was in Pettis County, and Anders’ department wasn’t alerted until about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, 11 hours after the killing.

Pettis County Maj. Tollie Rowe and two Pettis County detectives responded to Henry County to assist, and together Henry County sheriff's detectives and Pettis County sheriff's personnel performed investigative work and a suspect was identified. A search warrant for the suspect’s residence was executed at 12:30 a.m. in the 800 block of Jackson Street in Windsor. Fielder was taken into custody. 

“I would like to thank Henry County, specifically detective Cpl. Leonard Kubilus, for their phenomenal assistance in this case,” Anders said. “I would also like to thank our detectives and personnel who worked so diligently to resolve this situation.”

Anders warned not to take the law into your own hands but to leave arresting suspects to law enforcement professionals.

“You can't shoot someone in defense of property,” Anders warned. “The law doesn’t allow for that.”

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