Lonny Mays is charged with first-degree murder in Benton County

Mays fled on Monday after Rudy Romdall was shot in Romdall's truck.

March 28, 2012|by KY3 News |
  • Rudy Romdall was shot to death in his vehicle near Tightwad on March 26, 2012.
Family photo, via Clinton Daily Democrat

WARSAW, Mo. -- A man from rural Henry County was charged on Wednesday morning for a shooting death on a county road on the Benton/Henry county line.  Lonny Mays, 67, faces charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the death of Rudy Romdall, 66, who also lived in rural Henry County. 

Mays and Romdall, as well as other people, had been involved in ongoing disputes in recent months at a nearby subdivision called Sky Village.  The most recent argument was about 8 a.m. Monday over a load of gravel that was being put on some roads.  Sheriff's deputies from both Benton and Henry counties were called to the scene about that argument, but a detective's report says Mays left before they arrived and wasn't seen in Sky Village the rest of the day.

The probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges says several witnesses told detectives that they saw Mays' truck next to Romdall's truck, pointed in opposite directions, at a stop sign.  The witnesses said they heard two gunshots and saw Mays truck head down the road, turn around, drive back past Romdall's truck and speed away towards Warsaw.


Investigators found evidence of two shots in Romdall's truck.  One shot went through the exterior mirror on the driver's side and out the roof of the cab.  The other shot pierced a hole in the driver's door and hit Romdall in his left side and exited the right side of his chest.  An autopsy found that bullet caused Romdall's death.  He was dead when a couple got out of their vehicle to check on him about 1 p.m. Monday.  Investigators found a bullet on the passenger's side floorboard of Romdall's truck.

The probable cause statement says a Postal Service carrier said Mays told him several times that "he was going to shoot Rudy Romdall one of these days" because of the ongoing conflicts.

A judge set Mays' bond at $2 million.  The charges were served on him at the Henry County jail in Clinton, where he was held since he and his attorney showed up there on Tuesday morning.

Law enforcement officers started looking for Mays on Monday after the passersbys found Romdall dead in his pickup on Henry County SE 1301 Road, also known as County Line Road, at Missouri 7 near Tightwad.  Surveyors determined on Tuesday that the vehicle was in Benton County at the time of the shooting.

KY3 Articles