Investigators: Victim may have been hit with brick, typewriter in Sikeston murder investigation

Sikeston man charged in deadly beating.
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 3:59 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2023 at 6:18 PM CDT
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SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - Police and court papers have identified the victim and suspect in a Sikeston murder investigation.

According to the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, Anthony Pearson is accused of killing 66-year-old Curtis McKinney during the early morning hours of Monday, September 11.

Pearson was formally charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and first degree burglary.

DPS officers responded at 5:20 a.m. to the 1500 block of Washington Avenue for a report of an assault with one person believed to be injured.

They reported finding McKinney at his home suffering from injuries he received during an assault.

He was taken to an area hospital for treatment and later died.

According to court documents, McKinney had bruises and abrasions covering his face, specifically around his nose and bloody marks on both of his hands.

We talked to family members of both the victim and the suspect. They question what happened leading up to McKinney’s death.

The family said Sikeston officers went to Curtis McKinney’s home twice on Monday, the first time around 3 a.m.

“I got them on the phone, I said that someone is trying to break into my home,” Leanna Williamson, a family member of the victim, told us.

She said she called Sikeston DPS early Monday morning to report the actions of her cousin, Anthony Pearson. Just a few hours later, her uncle, Curtis McKinney, was dead.

“I feel like I am in a movie,” she continued. “It still doesn’t feel real.”

Detectives reported they found a bloody brick and a bloody typewriter on the bathroom floor of McKinney’s mobile home and a wallet with Pearson’s ID and some money was found in a bag inside the trailer.

Court papers state detectives believe the brick and typewriter were used to hit McKinney during the assault.

The victim’s granddaughter, JeLyric Hunt, described entering McKinney’s home and finding Pearson inside.

“I turned the light on, and I startled him because it was dark in there. Then he said, ‘don’t go past that door,’” she told us.

Hunt said she went into McKinney’s bedroom and found his lifeless body.

“He was in bad shape,” she said. “He wasn’t even moving. Like I said, they had to calm me down just to get it out of me.”

Now, all three family members question why police did not take Pearson into custody when they first called 911.

“At that moment, they left him there instead of staying here. All of this could have been prevented. For one, you could have had him detained, you could have had him in your car, or you could have stayed there with him,” Hunt said.

We reached out to Sikeston DPS Chief James McMillen to ask about what happened during the first call. He said he cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.

According to DPS, Pearson was taken into custody shortly after they arrived to the scene the second time.

According to court papers, police said Pearson’s hands and shirt were bloody at the time of his arrest.

During the booking process, court papers state Pearson complained of hand pain and wanted to see a doctor. He was taken to a Cape Girardeau hospital for treatment for a reported open displaced fracture in his right hand.

After treatment, Pearson was booked into the Scott County Jail where he is being held without bond.

Investigators say Pearson does have a criminal history, including prior convictions for burglary and resisting arrest.