A Dent County methamphetamine dealer who murdered a deputy sheriff and two other people has been sentenced to death by a Platte County jury. Earl Forrest the Second had been charged with first-degree murder in the December, 2002 deaths of Chief Deputy JoAnn Barnes, Harriett Smith, and Michael Wells. On December 9th, Deputy Barnes and the Dent County sheriff were investigating reports of a double homicide near Salem when they went to the house where Forrest lived because he had been identified as a suspect. Forrest began shooting at the officers, fatally wounding Deputy Barnes and wounding Dent County Sheriff Bob Wofford. The sheriff returned fire, hitting Forrest. Additional law enforcement officers arrived at the scene and Forrest gave up after a 35 minute standoff. The bodies of Smith and Wells were found inside the home along with a large quantity of meth.
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