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Bonne Terre Man Who Killed Farmington Hotel Owner gets Life Sentence

(Farmington) A Bonne Terre man, accused of murdering the owner of a St. Francois County hotel, was supposed to have his jury trial next month but now the trial will not happen.

Last week, 31-year-old Anthony Caruthers decided to plead guilty to his murder charge, along with other felonies of armed criminal action, 2nd degree burglary, first degree tampering with a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence, resisting arrest and escaping from custody.

The judge then sentenced Caruthers to life in prison.

Caruthers killed Michael VanStavern, the owner of the Farmington Holiday Inn on November 2nd of 2016.

39-year-old Jeremy Reed of Farmington was also charged with burglary and tampering with evidence in the case.

Reed had told police Caruthers strangled VanStavern at the Red Cedar Lodge in Bonne Terre.

Reed said he was called after the murder and was asked to help dispose of the body.

The two also went to VanStavern’s apartment, robbed it and attempted to pawn the stolen items.

The two were captured after police pulled over VanStavern’s Porsche SUV for a traffic violation.

That’s when police found the body of VanStavern in the trunk.

Reed took an Alford plea for his two charges, which means there was enough evidence to convict but he did not have to admit guilt.

Reed still received 8 years in prison for his Alford plea.

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