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LaBelle Man Charged With Murder and 10 Other Felonies

Written by on October 27, 2021

EDINA, Mo.-  A LaBelle man has been re-charged with several crimes, including murder.  Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Boster filed 12 charges against 39-year old Wesley Ruggles last Tuesday in Knox County Circuit Court.  Ruggles and another Kirksville man were originally charged in relation to an incident on June 13th of this year.  At that time, the remains of 61-year old Ray Tripp, Jr. had been discovered in the burned out remains of his home.  As a result of an investigation by Knox County Sheriff Allen Gudehus, the two men were arrested six days later. 

In an interview with the Edina Sentinel, Boster said that he dropped the original charges to give investigators more time, and also with the knowledge that the two men would remain in custody on other charges in other counties. 

Wesley Ruggles, 39, of LaBelle

As a result of that investigation, Boster has now re-filed felony charges against Ruggles, including 2nd Degree Murder, 1st Degree Arson, 1st Degree Assault, 1st Degree Burglary, Stealing of a Firearm, two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, 1st Degree Tampering with a Motor Vehicle, Armed Criminal Action, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Tampering with Physical Evidence in a Felony Prosecution.  Ruggles is also charged with a misdemeanor of Stealing less than $150.

In addition to the charges in this case, Ruggles was charged in Adair County on Tuesday with four felony counts of Damage to Jail Property while incarcerated at the Adair County Jail in relation to charges of 1st Degree Trespass and 2nd Degree Property Damage on May 24th of this year.

Ruggles was arraigned by Judge Thomas Redington in Knox County Circuit Court on Tuesday and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on November 23rd.