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Lake area killing may be pursued as death penalty case 

Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against a man charged with a man’s brutal killing at a southwest Missouri campground.

Miller County Prosecutor Ben Winfrey has filed a court notice of intent to seek the death penalty against 39-year-old John Joe Powell. He is accused of beating Mark Johnson of Colorado at the Iguana Campground in Miller County in September 2017.

Investigators believe Powell hit Johnson with a tire iron, stabbed him and dragged him behind a jeep.

Police found Johnson unconscious and tied to the rear of a Jeep. He died about a week after the confrontation.

According to the probable cause statement, Powell and Johnson originally argued over their military service. Powell also became angry after Johnson reportedly threatened his wife.

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