Package store murder suspect arrested here

Monday, January 30, 2006
Luke Anthony Trottier waived extradition to Missouri Thursday morning in a hearing at the Eastern District Courthouse.

BERRYVILLE -- A 37-year-old Marlborough, Mass., man, Luke Anthony Trottier, waived extradition proceedings Thursday morning before Circuit Judge Alan D. Epley, and at press time was awaiting transport to Barry County, Mo., where he faces charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Trottier was arrested at the home of his parents on County Road 238, off of CR 219, just north of Grandview, at about 10 a.m. Wednesday by Carroll County Sheriff's Office Investigator Ralph Gordon.

He is charged in connection with the shooting death of Golden, Mo., liquor store owner John Robinson, 58, of Emerald Beach, Mo., a driver-in-training who was planning to take his commercial driver's license skills test next week to work for Eureka Springs Transit.

The shooting took place at Golden Package Store in southeast Barry County, Mo., at Mo. Hwys 86 and RA, and north of Berryville.

Apparently few, if any witnesses, were present in the liquor store at the time of the shooting.

According to Barry County, Mo., Sheriff Mick Epperly, Trottier was inside the liquor store when he apparently shot Robinson with a 12-gauge shotgun. The blast or blasts also impacted a tempered double-pane glass store window, fragmenting the inner pane and completely shattering the exterior pane.

Epperly stated that a person is reported to have seen someone leaving the scene of the shooting, but that his investigators had not made contact with that witness as of Thursday morning.

A Jeep matching the description of a vehicle seen at the Golden shooting Wednesday morning was at Trottier's parents' home when law enforcement agents arrived to interview his parents.

Trottier was seen walking down the road with a loaded shotgun in his hands, Epperly reported.

Trottier is reported to have made the statement that he was going to ambush whoever was dealing with his parents. He apparently saw the BCSO signage on the tailgate of a pickup and decided that the interviewers were "not the bad guys," Epperly said, and with the shotgun in his hand, officers ordered him down and arrested him without further incident.

According to Lamont Richie of the Eureka Springs Transit Office, Robinson was the owner of the strip mall in which his package store was located. He was the husband of former Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce employee Linda Robinson.

Missouri Highway Patrol reports indicate that the Barry County Sheriff's Office got a 911 call about the shooting around 10 p.m. Tuesday, and by the time deputies arrived at the scene, the victim was dead.

It was reported that Trottier may have been carrying two guns.

Unofficial sources report that Trottier, who has been living in the Grandview area, had for several days been approaching various businesses in Golden seeking to buy drugs. On Tuesday, he reportedly approached Robinson, who told him he didn't sell drugs. Trottier drove out of the parking lot, throwing gravel, and returned shortly afterward to kill Robinson.

Epperly stated that drugs are not currently suspected of being immediately involved in the shooting, but that he understood that Carroll County deputies had taken urine for analysis.

Barry County Sheriff's Office was assisted in the investigation by the Missouri Highway Patrol, with the suspect's name being developed early on.

Evidence collected in Carroll County was being processed by sheriff's investigators Thursday.

Epperly had nothing but praise for the assistance and teamwork of various law enforcement agencies in getting the suspect arrested within 12 hours of the incident.

Along with Carroll County and Barry County authorities, the Missouri Highway Patrol is assisting in the case.

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