Trial beginning in river shooting case

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(STEELVILLE, Mo., AP) — An eastern Missouri man is on trial, accused of killing a float trip participant after becoming angry because the man was urinating on or near his property.

Jury selection was Monday in the second-degree murder trial of 59-year-old James Crocker. He is accused of killing 48-year-old Paul Dart Jr. of Robertsville in July. The trial is expected to last about a week, with opening statements Tuesday.
Dart was among nearly 50 people on a float trip down the Meramec River. Crocker’s attorney says his client was protecting himself and his property.
Crocker lives along the river, near Steelville. Crocker and some of the floaters had argued before the shooting. Crocker told police he fired warning shots as four men moved closer to him in the gravel bar, then shot Dart.