2 arrested Fri. shooting victim dies

Sunday, April 19, 2015

By PAT PRATT

Staff Writer

The victim of an early Friday shooting in Poplar Bluff has died and two suspects are in custody.

Police say Donald Perry, 38, of Sedgewickville, died Friday afternoon at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, the result of injuries sustained from gunshot wounds.

Police arrested and Butler County prosecutors charged Walter L. Currie Jr, 21, of Broseley, with second-degree murder and armed criminal action on Friday. Currie is currently awaiting trial in the Butler County jail in lieu of a $500,000 cash-only bond.

Patricia Bales, 24, of the 500 block of Cynthia St, was also arrested on Friday on suspicion of second-degree murder, second-degree assault, tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm. She is awaiting charges in the Butler County jail as of noon Saturday.

Police say the incident, which took place at 5:52 a.m. at Bales' residence, was over $200 allegedly owed to Bales by Currie. Police have not yet confirmed why the money was owed to Bales.

"Our understanding is that Currie was drawn to the house because Bales and the victim planned to scare him, because he (Currie) owed Bales money. She said Currie stole the money from her," said Poplar Bluff Police Capt. David Sutton.

When Currie walked in the apartment, Perry, who was an acquaintance of Bales, produced a shotgun and ordered him to get on the ground. Currie then shot Perry with a handgun, according to police.

"We know there were roughly 5-6 rounds fired and at least two struck the victim in the upper torso," Sutton said.

Currie then fled. When police arrived on the scene for a report of shots fired, they found Perry outside the residence with gunshot wounds. Patrolmen Joey Woodruff and Robert Reed began lifesaving procedures and called for paramedics.

As Perry was being treated by first responders, some dialog took place, which pointed to Currie as a suspect according to police.

"He was responsive when they got there. One of the officers spoke to him," Sutton said.

Initially, Bales, who was on the scene when police arrived, was brought in for questioning as a witness.

"As the investigation unfolded it was determined she was a suspect and she was later taken into custody and booked in," said Sutton.

Currie was located and arrested later Friday on County Road 468.

"They were both taken into custody without incident," Sutton said.

Associate Circuit Court Judge John Bloodworth will preside at an arraignment for Currie 9 a.m. Monday. As formal charges have not been filed against Bales as of noon Saturday, bond and court information were not available at press time.

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