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High profile
cases advance

An update on court action

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark reporter

Three high profile cases continue to move their way slowly but surely through the system in Platte County Circuit Court.

Daryl Lemasters
Daryl Lemasters, age 52, will soon have his day in court. A jury trial date has been set for 9 a.m. on June 25. A pre-trial conference will be held on June 7.

Lemasters was charged by the Platte County Prosecutor's Office with four first-degree statutory sodomy charges, enticement of a child, and sexual exploitation of a minor in February 2011.

He remains in custody in the Platte County Detention Center after the court ordered his initial bond of $100,000 be increased to $200,000 cash-only last summer.

Lemasters’attorney, Scott Campbell, requested his client undergo a mental evaluation late last year.

Lemasters is accused of sexually abusing two female relatives, ages 9 and 11. The Children's Advocacy Center conducted interviews with the girls. The victims allege Lemasters took video of them while they were undressed.

When the Platte County Sheriff's Office conducted a search of Lemasters' residence and business, they say they discovered numerous items which matched the victims' descriptions.

Lemasters owned and operated the Copy Masters store located at 1110 Branch Street in Platte City prior to his arrest.

Brandon Church
Assistant Public Defender Christopher Belts does not feel Brandon Church can receive a fair trial in Platte County and has filed an application for a change of venue on his client's behalf.

Church is accused of killing his girlfriend’s father in a struggle at the father’s residence in Platte City last summer.

A hearing on this matter will be held April 19 at 1:30 p.m.

Church, age 20, recently waived his right to an arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty to second degree murder for the killing of his girlfriend’s father on July 22, 2011.

According to the probable cause statement filed by the Platte City Police Department, police officers discovered Kerry Deyo unresponsive at his Platte City home shortly after midnight. Attempts to revive Deyo were unsuccessful.

Ann Deyo, the victim’s wife, reported to authorities that her daughter, Sara Deyo, and her boyfriend, Brandon Church, arrived home from the Platte County Fair highly intoxicated. Kerry Deyo had tried to mediate an argument between his daughter and her boyfriend, Ann told authorities.

She then witnessed Church continuously hit Kerry in the face until he stopped breathing, according to the probable cause statement. Church then responded, “I don't think he's breathing. Let's get out of here,” while allegedly kicking Kerry before exiting the residence.

Sara Deyo told authorities a different story. According to the probable cause statement, her father grabbed and hit her which provoked Church to tackle and choke her father. Sara told authorities she was extremely intoxicated and could only recall events of that night in fragments.

At a later time, Sara changed her story and told authorities her father hit her as a means to prevent her from driving drunk.

Following the incident at 1812 Gates Drive West, Sara left the scene with her boyfriend. They were later located by the police and taken into custody.

Church remains in the Platte County Detention Center in lieu of a $250,000 cash-only bond.

If convicted, Church must serve as much as 85 percent of his sentence and faces up to life in prison.

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, assistant prosecuting attorney Matt Morris filed a supplemental response to the on-going discovery in this case.

On Jan. 11, the court placed Sara Deyo on probation for a period of two years after she plead guilty to driving while intoxicated on the night of the incident. Special conditions were placed upon her two year probationary period. She is required to complete 80 hours of community service, as well as have a ignition interlock device with camera installed on her vehicle.

Sara plead guilty to driving while intoxicated in August of 2009 and was placed on probation. As a result of violating her probation, Sara's probation was recently revoked. Sara must now serve 60 days in jail.

Samuel McPherson
Samuel McPherson, of Weston, is facing two felony counts of possession of child pornography. That is a reduction by two courts following a request by McPherson's attorney, Scott Campbell, to dismiss count 2 and count 4 of the state's complaint.

McPherson's next court date is scheduled for Feb. 9 at 9 a.m in Platte County Circuit Court.

McPherson, 28, was arrested July 21, 2010 after police searched his parents' residence located in the 900 block of Citadel Drive in Weston. According to court documents, a scan conducted on McPherson's computer indicated “several files containing suspected child pornography” were discovered. Allegedly some of those files contained sexual acts performed on young children under the age of ten.

Court documents reveal McPherson admitted to using search terms that would lead him to view child pornography including the words “pedo” and “underage.”

A statement of probable cause, indicates the computer IP address belonging to McPherson was found on a public file sharing network on the internet. Through that IP address, allegedly child pornography was obtained, as well as distributed.

McPherson was released from the Platte County Detention Center after providing
$5,000 of a $50,000 bond. Judge Thomas Fincham reduced McPherson's initial bail amount of $200,000, but placed several conditions on him upon his release from jail.