Fourth suspect charged in Hayti murder investigation - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Fourth suspect charged in Hayti murder investigation

Ronda J. Cummings (Source: Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office) Ronda J. Cummings (Source: Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office)
Michael Jay Hemmingway (Source: Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office) Michael Jay Hemmingway (Source: Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office)
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)
PEMISCOT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

A fourth person has been arrested in connection with a murder investigation in Hayti.

David "Trey" Phelps' body was found lying next to his car in the driveway of his home on Swan Lake Drive in Hayti on Sept. 24. Authorities say Phelps had been beaten to death with an unknown object.

Ronda Jean Cummings, 44, of Hayti, is being charged with hindering the prosecution of a felony and tampering with physical evidence.

She is the wife of Chester Daniel Cummings, 45, of Hayti, who is charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action in relation to that crime.

She will be arraigned in Pemiscot County Circuit Court on Tuesday October 13 at 10 a.m.

Michael Jay Hemmingway, 36, of Portageville is charged with tampering with physical evidence in connection with the beating death of 26-year-old David L "Trey" Phelps.

Hemmingway was charged on Oct. 8. He was taken to the Pemiscot County Jail on $500,000 bond. He will be arraigned on Oct. 13 at 10 a.m.

According to a Probable Cause Statement, Hemmingway admitted to police of disposing a bag he received from Chester Cummings on the morning of the murder.

Bert Ellison, 41, is charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action. He is accused of beating Phelps to death in the driveway of his Hayti home.

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 5-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.

Sheriff Tommy Greenwell says more arrests are possible.

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