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Judge issues warrant for reluctant witness in murder case in Springfield

August 21, 2012|by KY3 News | news@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The preliminary hearing for a man charged with murder was delayed on Tuesday because a witness can't be located to serve her with a subpoena to show up to testify.  The judge then issued a warrant for the arrest of the witness.

Robert Sondree, 35, (pictured) is charged with second-degree murder for the death of Bobby Newman, 48, in June.  Investigators believe Sondree pushed Newman to the ground or hit him during an argument in a home on West Nichols Street near Kansas Expressway.  A medical examiner said Newman died of blunt force.

Prosecutors want Amanda Knight to testify in the preliminary hearing about what she saw or heard when Newman was injured.  They say she’s hiding from a police subpoena server, and asked Associate Circuit Judge Mark Powell to issue a warrant for Knight’s arrest, which Powell did.  Prosecutors also asked for a delay in the preliminary hearing, which Powell granted over the objection of Sondree’s defense attorney.  The new date is Sept. 18 for the preliminary hearing, which is when a judge determines if a case has enough evidence for a trial.

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Powell noted in his order for a warrant that “Knight is a person of material importance to this case and her testimony is material to the felony case.” Once Knight is arrested, Powell said in his order, he wants to know about it “so that conditions of release can be set, including the possibility that her deposition be taken. “

In the probable cause statement used as the basis of the charge against Sondree, a detective wrote Knight said Sondree ran into the home and said, “Oh my God, oh my God, I killed Bobby.”

Sondree is in the Greene County jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond.

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