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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Cross convicted in 1991 murder of ex-wife

  • FARMINGTON — A Phelps County man last week was convicted of murdering his ex-wife 23 years after the fatal shooting occurred.
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  • FARMINGTON — A Phelps County man last week was convicted of murdering his ex-wife 23 years after the fatal shooting occurred.
    It took St. Francois County jurors a little more than two hours of deliberation May 22 to find Farrell Wayne Cross guilty of first-degree murder, a Class A felony, in the 1991 shooting death of his ex-wife, Tammy Jo Cross.
    The verdict came after a three-day trial held in St. Francois County Circuit Court in Farmington.
    Tammy Cross was found dead Feb. 3, 1991, southwest of Newburg. She was 32 years old and an employee of what was then called the Missouri State Highway and Transportation Department.
    An article in the Feb. 4, 1991, edition of the Rolla Daily News stated her body was found next to her car on a county road. Former County Sheriff Don Blankenship later stated in a Sept. 23, 2010, Daily News article that she was found on Three Mile Road off Highway P.
    An initial investigation at that time stated that officials believed she had died as a result of a gunshot wound. A Feb. 14, 1991, article in the Daily News stated she had been shot in the head.
    That article also stated Farrell Cross, who was born in 1940, was arrested and charged Feb. 13, 1991, but Judge Mary Sheffield stated after a preliminary hearing was held in April 1991 that there was not enough evidence to take Farrell Cross to trial.
    Additional evidence was gathered in subsequent years and a charge of murder was filed again against Farrell Cross on Sept. 22, 2010.
    His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 8, 2014, in St. Francois County, before Judge Sandra Martinez.
    Federal prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. They were Special Assistant Attorney General Cristian Stevens and Assistant Attorney General Kevin Zoellner.
    Farrell Cross appeared in person and was represented by State Public Defenders Beth Ann Davis-Kerry and David Kenyon.
    Farrell Cross was placed into the custody of the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department with no bond.

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