CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Two men were charged in connection with the death of a 19-year-old in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
On February 12, James W. Gray, III, 24, was charged with the class A felony of felony murder in the first degree, the unclassified felony of armed criminal action, and the class E felony of tampering with physical evidence, for his involvement with the murder of 19-year-old Tyler Conway.
Alexander J. Martin, 19, was charged with the class E felony of tampering with physical evidence for his involvement.
The arrest warrants for both men have been applied for by the Prosecuting Attorney's Office and signed by the Honorable Benjamin Lewis. Judge Lewis issued a $750,000 cash only bond for Gray and a $50,000 cash only bond for Martin.
Both individuals are in custody.
On Sunday, February 11, at around 10:02 p.m., officers with the Cape Girardeau Police Department responded to an apartment in the 600 block of S. Spring Avenue, for someone believed to have been shot and killed.
When officers arrived, they say they found 19-year-old Tyler Conway dead on the floor with an apparent gunshot wound.
According to court documents, the person reporting the incident said Conway was last seen with Alexander Martin at the apartment at around 2 p.m. on Sunday. While interviewing Martin and others, officers determined James Gray was also present at the time of the shooting.
Officers got a search warrant for an apartment on William in Cape Girardeau, where Gray and Martin were found along with the same caliber of weapon and ammunition used in the shooting.
Gray and Martin were taken into custody and interviewed by the Cape Girardeau/Bollinger County Major Case Squad.
During the interview, officers say Martin told them he was at the apartment on S. Spring between 6 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. when the shooting happened.
According to officers, Martin told them Gray ordered him and Conway to sit in two chairs in the living room at gunpoint. Martin said Gray was "racking" the slide of the gun, ejecting rounds and shoving the muzzle near Martin and Conway's heads and bodies.
Officers say Martin told them Gray was threatening Conway. Gray allegedly said, "And that's why" and pulled the trigger, killing Conway.
Martin told officers Gray picked up the casing and other unused rounds. Martin said he feared for his life and left the apartment complex with Gray. When they left, he said Gray took Conway's cell phone.
According to Martin, Gray gave him the phone and he used it to make phone calls. Officers say Martin admitted later he took the battery and sim card out of the phone and threw the phone into Capaha Lagoon.
Officers say Martin brought them to the area where he threw the phone and they found it on the embankment.
On Monday, Patrolman Richard McCall with the Cape Girardeau Police Department said this was a normal investigation and people didn't have anything to be afraid of at the time.
"It's an isolated incident, absolutely, just a normal investigation," he said. "We're treating this one like we treat anything else, any major case squad investigation. We're getting cooperation from the citizens of Cape Girardeau."
Monday was a quieter scene at the apartment. Only a few law enforcement officers were there throughout the day.
We also talked to a few neighbors around the apartment and they said it had them a little freaked out, but they didn't hear anything out of the ordinary before police got there.
In an email to the residents of the apartment complex, the District at Cape said it was cooperating with the police investigation.