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Murder suspect takes manslaughter plea

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 11:48 am

Richard Henry III made a guilty plea on Monday morning to one count of a voluntary manslaughter charge. His plea comes nearly two years after the shooting death of Leon Wilder III, of Columbia, in rural Audrain County.
Henry, 37, of Overland, Mo., will be sentenced on June 24 at the Audrain County Courthouse in Mexico.
On July 6, 2017, the body of 30-year-old victim, Leon Wilder III, was discovered by a passerby along Audrain County Road 997, north of Grassland School road in the Centralia area.
Law enforcement and medical personnel were dispatched to the scene around 2:20 p.m. that same day and an autopsy was performed by the Boone County Medical Examiner. Autopsy findings determined the victim died from a gunshot wound.
Also arrested in connection with the case was Arline Diedrich, 39, of St. Ann, Mo.
She received a 10 year sentence in last fall for drug trafficking charges in the second degree. The case also involved Justin Traughber. Traughber pled guilty to a drug trafficking charge in June 2018. He later was sentenced to nine years for his role in the murder.
Her sentence was lightened after prosecutors dropped felony charges for abandonment of a corpse; murder (1st degree); robbery (1st degree); armed criminal action; unlawful possession of a firearm; and tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution.
Henry’s list of charges include first degree murder, armed criminal action, abandonment of a corpse, among others.