Woman charged as accessory in 2001 killing near Missouri bar

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A woman has admitted to detectives that she was a willing participant in the killing of a man whose body was found outside a Missouri bar 18 years ago, officials said.

Tabatha Carter, 53, is jailed without bond in Miller County on charges of being an accessory to first-degree murder and an accessory to armed criminal action in the July 2001 shooting death of Jerry Jeffries, the county sheriff's office said in a news release.

Sheriff Louie Gregoire said Carter was arrested Monday in the parking lot of a business in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, and returned to Missouri. She had been wanted on outstanding warrants for 17 years and had been making money by busing tables and working as a bartender. He declined to say how authorities tracked her down, noting that the investigation is ongoing and that others could face charges.

Carter told investigators that she witnessed another man shoot Jeffries in the head as he begged for his life, according to a probable cause statement. Jeffries' body was found by trash collectors in the parking lot of the Mill Creek Lounge in Brumley. Gregoire said Carter and Jeffries had been friends.

The probable cause statement listed no motive for the shooting, but the sheriff's office has said it appeared two power saws were missing from the bed of Jeffries' pickup. Relatives said Jeffries had fallen asleep in the truck after leaving the bar around closing time.

Prosecutor Ben Winfrey said Tuesday that he could not comment on the case. Th e alleged shooter is identified in court records. Gregoire said that man hasn't been arrested or charged.

No attorney who can speak on Carter's behalf is listed in online court records.