Cape Murder Conviction Affirmed in Appeals Court

Cape Murder Conviction Affirmed in Appeals Court
By: Christy Hendricks

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the murder conviction of a man found guilty of killing a Cape Girardeau man.
Justin M. Brown was convicted of murdering Cape Girardeau resident Ralph L. Lape along with Mark A. Gill.
According to the Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor's Office, Brown and Gill kidnapped Lape from his home on July 2, 2002, beat him, tied him with duct tape and drove him to a cornfield in New Madrid County.  They dug his grave while he was still alive, shot him and buried him naked.
Both confessed to the crime, but claim the other shot Lape.
After appealing his convictions, the Court of Appeals ruled against all his claims.  He was originally sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus 15 years for kidnapping.