Jason Laird arrested Feb. 20 in Kirbyville
For more than a month, Ozark County fugitive Jason Laird has evaded Ozark County Sheriff’s deputies and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers who sought to arrest him for active warrants in nine Ozark County cases. Laird’s lucky streak came to an end Thursday, Feb. 20, after Taney County officers executed a search warrant in Kirbyville and took Laird into custody. Ozark County Deputy Cpl. Curtis Dobbs transported Laird back to Ozark County that same day, and he has been held in custody in the Ozark County Jail ever since.
Officers in Taney County received information that Laird was staying at a home at 201 Prairie Lane in Kirbyville, according to a press release from the Taney County Sheriff’s Office. The TCSO obtained a search warrant after officers spotted a Dodge truck parked in a barn at the residence. The truck, originally black, had been painted white with what appeared to be canned spray paint. It matched the description of a truck stolen from the MLH & Sons business in Gainesville a few weeks ago.
Upon execution of the search warrant, Laird was arrested without incident at the home.
After an additional search warrant was obtained to search the property for stolen items, two pistols and various additional property believed to be the result of several area burglaries were found. The truck, firearms and additional property were seized as evidence and will be returned to the owners.
New charges and other open cases
Laird appeared before Associate Judge Raymond Gross at the Ozark County Courthouse Friday, Feb. 21, and was arraigned in three new cases filed against him. He is scheduled to return to court April 28.
Missouri State Public Defender John H. Kizer filed his appearance as Laird’s attorney.
Laird is being held without bond in all three new cases, and a bond-reduction hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, but his bond was not reduced.
In one case, Laird is charged with the class A misdemeanor of resisting or interfering with an arrest of a felony in connection with allegations that Laird was involved in a foot pursuit with Ozark County deputies and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers near Laird’s ex-wife’s residence in Gainesville on Jan. 21. He reportedly escaped capture at that time.
In another case, he is charged with first-degree burglary, a class B felony, and two counts of stealing a firearm, both class D felonies, in connection with the break-in of Aaron and Jessica Workman’s home on Cedar Oak Drive in Gainesville and the theft of two firearms that were located inside the Workman home.
In a third case, he is charged with tampering with a motor vehicle, a class D felony, in connection with the alleged theft of a Gainesville School District car from school premises.
Laird also appeared in six previously filed cases. In those open cases, he faces charges of domestic assault, trespassing, operating a vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner, interfering or resisting arrest, exceeding posted speed limit by 26 miles per hour or more, and failure to signal. Those cases were also scheduled to be recalled Tuesday, and he’s also scheduled to reappear in those cases April 28.
Additional charges are expected to be filed in Taney and Ozark County in the coming weeks.