Stockton man charged with first degree murder free on bond

STOCKTON, Mo. A Stockton man charged with first degree murder is free on bail.

Ramie Halbrook is accused of shooting Joseph Roberts to death Saturday, March 10.

Court documents say that 71 year-old Halbrook doesn't have a criminal past. He's also a decorated veteran.
However, some people in the community believe Halbrook shouldn't be allowed out of jail.

"I tell you, I was really surprised. You think, nothing, small town. That's one of the reasons why we came here. We came here about 13 years ago just to get away from that kind of stuff," said Subby Lombardo.

Lombardo and his wife live next door to where the deadly shooting happened. He said people in his neighborhood still can't believe a man was murdered on their street.

He said, "The landlord shot old Jim, young Jim. I said, he shot him. Yeah he shot him dead!"

Lombardo said he still didn't understand why Halbrook would kill his 39 year-old tenant, Joseph Roberts.

"I asked this kid, what did he do? He said he didn't do nothing. He just went over there and he just shot him right in the stomach. Just dropped him dead," he said.

According to court documents, Roberts was in the process of moving out of the rental home on West Craig Street. He and a friend pulled into the driveway and saw Halbrook in a shed on the property. Roberts asked Halbrook what he was doing. The friend said he didn't hear Halbrook respond to Roberts, just a gunshot.

Then, according to the witness, Halbrook started walking towards him with a blank stare and appeared to raise the gun. He took off fearing he would be shot next.

Lombardo said he met Halbrook once and didn't get a good feeling.

"He come up here one time. He walked up. He saw me out in the yard working. He introduced himself. But he didn't seem just right to me, like he's kind of off," he said.

Lombardo believes Halbrook shouldn't be out of jail.

"He shouldn't be loose. He's not right. He ain't right, I'll tell you something. I didn't think he was anyway," he said.

Halbrook was released on $100,000 bond under certain conditions. He has to get a mental evaluation and counseling. He also has to surrender his weapons and stay out of Cedar County except for when he's in court.

He'll be back in front of a judge in April.