Michael Amick

Michael Amick was wrongly convicted for the 2008 murder of Leona Vaughan, his grandmother-in-law, at her daughter Jackie Risner’s home in Myrtle, in southern Missouri, and the fire that destroyed the home after the murder. Vaughan had been shot six times in the head. On June 16, 2015, the conviction was overturned.

During the three full days of testimony, the jury heard from more than a dozen witnesses on both sides of the case, mostly in favor of the defendant, placing him at several locations in the Myrtle area at the time of the Risner home fire.

One witness, Risner’s neighbor, Jake Mayberry, who was 19 at the time of the murder, testified he saw Amick’s pickup truck at the Risner home about 15 minutes before seeing smoke coming from the house. Mayberry’s description of Amick’s truck as a silver extended-cab rather than a pewter crew-cab pickup was a critical point of contention for Amick’s defense team.

Mayberry admitted smoking marijuana sometime in the month before Vaughan’s death, although not that morning. Several times during the trial and during closing arguments, defense attorney Dee Wampler said Mayberry was “too high on pot” to identify Amick’s truck.

“This guy’s brain deserves to be in the Smithsonian when he dies,” Wampler said of Mayberry.

Missouri Assistant Attorney General Kevin Zoellner of Jefferson City, who served as prosecutor alongside Oregon County Prosecutor Fred O’Neill, accused the defense of fraud for producing a photo of a similar pickup truck, presumably to trick Mayberry into identifying it as Amick’s truck.

Linda Amick testified that her son did not benefit from Vaughan’s death. She named several people in the community that she said did benefit by Vaughan’s death, saying they were dealing in large quantities of drugs from California, and Vaughan likely confronted them about the drugs.

Source: News report on the trial July 6, 2011


Featured case #76 Discussion | Discussion Group | Proposal Post | Facebook Page | Featured Case Post

Documents ( see also discussion group documents )

Document on alleged Perjury by Deputy King | Brief 31 December 2014


24 May 2014 Jake Mayberry charged for a driving-related offense

16 June 2015 Conviction overturned
“In that trial, the judge excused a juror for health reasons after the jury had already begun deliberations. That juror was replaced with an alternate juror that had already been excused and had gone home.”

29 November 2016 Detailed article at The Reporters.org

1 December 2016, Found Not Guilty after retrial.

22 December 2017, Lawsuit filed PDF



2 thoughts on “Michael Amick”

  1. The same sheriff who framed Michael Amick, also attempted to frame my oldest son who was a deputy sheriff in Howell County, Missouri..This sheriff, Tim Ward, made deals with criminals facing prison to agree to testify falsely against my son..Or say that he made confessions to them..My son was not indicted on federal drug charges but it was not for the Oregon county Missouri’s sheriff lack of trying to have indicted and sent to US Prison for 30 years or more for something my son never did.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s