Family of Sikeston murder victim speaks out

Sikeston man charged in deadly beating.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 6:29 PM CDT
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SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - One man is dead and another accused of brutally beating him. Family members of both men are speaking out.

53-year-old Anthony Pearson faces charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and burglary.

Pearson is accused of beating 66-year-old Curtis McKinney to death early Monday morning, September 11. Investigators say they found Pearson with blood on his hands, and bloody objects inside the home that may have been used in the attack.

Family members of both the victim and suspect question what happened leading up to McKinney’s death. The family told KFVS that Sikeston police came out to Curtis McKinney’s home twice on Monday, the first time around 3 a.m.

Leanna Williamson said she called Sikeston police early Monday morning to report the actions of her cousin, Anthony Pearson.

“I got them on the phone, I said that someone is trying to break into my home,” said Williamson.

Just a few hours later, her uncle Curtis McKinney was dead.

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

According to Sikeston DPS, Pearson brutally attacked McKinney. Investigators report finding a bloody brick and bloody typewriter at the scene and it appears Pearson used both items to beat McKinney to death.

“They determined that a struggle ensued there at the residence and Mr. McKinney was assaulted by Mr. Pearson. He had several injuries to the right side of his face, to the skull area consistent to being punch or struck with an object,” Sgt. Tyler Rowe, with Sikeston DPS, said.

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,” said Hunt.

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

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

Now, 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,” Williamson said. “For one, you could have had him detained, you could have had him in your car, or you could have stayed there with him.”

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