Murder charge dropped, Crosswhite to serve 10 years following heist

Steve Chapman

Kendall Lee Crosswhite

Joplin man gets plea deal following the 2019 accidental death of tractor stealing associate Justin Workman
A Joplin man who was facing a possible life sentence for murder will only serve 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a different charge. Kendall Lee Crosswhite, 30, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property after his trial was transferred from Lawrence County to Newton County on a change of venue.
Crosswhite was originally charged with second-degree murder in the death of Justin T. Workman, who was killed on Oct. 22, 2019, when a stolen tractor the two were driving on Lawrence 2130, just two miles south of Stotts City, overturned off a bridge.
According to the probable cause statement, a member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol came across the crash scene and found the tractor, a 2011 John Deere 7230, in the ditch under the bridge with the two men trapped underneath. Workman was pronounced dead at the scene, while Crosswhite was taken to Cox South in Springfield.
An investigator spoke with Crosswhite at Cox later that day; Crosswhite said his “homeboy,” whom he later identified as Workman, contacted him and asked him to bring fuel for a tractor that ran out of gas. Crosswhite then declined to answer any further questions.
According to court records, Crosswhite’s case was transferred to Newton County and was transferred from Lawrence County to Newton in December of 2020, but Crosswhite remained in the custody of the Lawrence County Jail until he was transferred to the Missouri Department of Corrections on Friday, Aug. 9. Crosswhite spent about 18 months in the custody of the Lawrence County Jail; he receives credit for that time towards his sentence.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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