By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH
Before going with members of a motorcycle gang to do tattoo work at an eastern Missouri lake, Samuel Francis had one last conversation with his father.
Court documents say Francis warned that if he turned up dead, a man named Melvin Scherrer would be responsible. This summer, a full seven months later, the missing man's decomposing body was found in a septic tank outside Bonne Terre. Since then, prosecutors have filed a growing number of charges in Francis' death and an overlapping federal drug case, with Scherrer among the defendants.
Court documents are offering a picture of what authorities believe happened. They describe 49-year-old Scherrer striking Francis with a baseball bat and taping his hands behind his back while others watched. Scherrer's attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.