Second man charged with murder in Hayti beating death - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Second man charged with murder in Hayti beating death

Chester Cummings (Source: Pemiscot County Jail) Chester Cummings (Source: Pemiscot County Jail)
Bert A. Ellison (Source: Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office) Bert A. Ellison (Source: Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office)
Authorities say David "Trey" Phelps had been beaten to death with an unknown object. (Source: Phelps' mother, Kathy Skeleton) Authorities say David "Trey" Phelps had been beaten to death with an unknown object. (Source: Phelps' mother, Kathy Skeleton)
HAYTI, MO (KFVS) -

A second man has been charged with first degree murder in the death a 26-year-old Hayti man.

Chester Daniel Cummings, 45, of Hayti is charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of David "Tray" L. Phelps of Hayti on Sept. 24.

Phelps' body was found lying next to his car in the driveway of his home on Swan Lake Drive in Hayti. Authorities say Phelps had been beaten to death with an unknown object.

Phelps' Fiance Madison Stegall said she wants the world to remember the incredible man Phelps was.

"He loved his family. All his family. He was the definition of a family man," Stegall said. 

Phelps leaves behind a five-year-old son.

Stegall said he is the person who will be hurt the most in the wake of this tragidy. 

"He loved Noah more than anything in the entire world," Stegall said. "That is who is going to be hurt the most in this, is Noah."

Bert Ellison, 41, is accused of beating Phelps to death in the driveway of his Hayti home.

Ellison is charged with murder and armed criminal action.

According to court documents, Ellison's girlfriend Heather Cummings is the victim's ex-wife.

Investigators say Phelps was recently granted joint custody of the five-year-old son he shared with Cummings, and that she was not happy about the recent custody arrangement.

The probable cause statement details how Ellison had pictures of Phelps' house on his phone, even though Ellison reportedly told investigators he never went to Phelps' house.

Court documents also show Heather Cummings' father, Chester Cummings, told investigators he drove Ellison to Phelps' house early on Thursday morning.

Chester Cummings reportedly said he thought Ellison was going to scare Phelps.

Chester Cummings was arrested and charged on Oct. 7. He is being held in the Pemiscot County Jail with no bond. Cummings is set to be arraigned on Oct. 13 at 10 a.m.

The investigation continues by the Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office, Missouri Highway Patrol, Hayti Police and Caruthersville Police.

Pemiscot County Sheriff Tommy Greenwell says more arrests are possible as they continue to investigate.

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