Wright to serve 20 years for murder

Steve Chapman

An Aurora woman will spend the next 20 years in prison for her role in two burglaries, an assault and a murder. Kimberly Wright, also known as Kimberly Huffman, pleaded guilty to the charges on Friday, March 22.
The charges stem from two incidents. According to a probable cause statement detailing the first incident, Wright, 48, along with Shannon Hensley and two others attacked a man at a house in Aurora around Jan. 1, 2016. Hensley and another unidentified male beat the victim, while Wright struck him in the shoulder with a hatchet. Hensley, Wright and the others tied up the victim and stole a compound bow, a backpack, a beanie hat and a wallet from him. From there, Hensley and one of the other men drove the victim into the countryside and dumped him out.
The second event occurred on Dec. 28, 2016. In that incident, Nolan Karch, of Aurora, was found dead by Lawrence County deputies in his residence on Jan. 2, 2017; he was killed by multiple gunshots. Numerous items, including a West Coast Chopper bicycle and a black 1983 Chevrolet El Camino were found missing. Hensley was found to be in possession of the West Coast Chopper bicycle when he was pulled over on an unrelated charge two days later.
Over the course of the investigation, Wright was interviewed and emerged as a suspect. According to the probable cause statement, she admitted she had dropped off Hensley and a Christopher Williams at a location in Aurora for the purpose of burglarizing Karch’s residence and barn. She also said Hensley called her to pick him up from that address several hours later, and he later told her he had shot Karch several times.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Wright pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree assault and first-degree robbery in the first incident, and charges of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the second incident. She was sentenced to 20 years in each case, but the sentences will run concurrently.
In September of 2014, Wright pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was given a suspended five-year prison sentence and five years of probation. Her probation was revoked in June of 2017.
Hensley is currently serving a sentence of life without possibility of parole; he was tried in the Newton County Court on a change of venue and convicted in August of 2018; he was sentenced in October of that year. He is currently appealing his conviction. He is to be tried on charges of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping and armed criminal action; a review of his case is currently scheduled for June of 2020.
According to online records, Christopher Michael Williams, of Joplin, was convicted of third-degree assault in August of 2018 and sentenced to five years in prison the following December. He is also currently charged with second-degree assault; a hearing in that case is scheduled for April 15.


Lawrence County Record

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


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