Woman now charged with murder in death of Mark Ault

Shannon Collins, far right, is pictured here as she is escorted out of the the Ozark County Courthouse, where she was arraigned on second-degree murder charges in connection with a June 12 incident that lead to the death of 62-year-old Gainesville resident Mark Ault.

Shannon Collins, 49, of Isabella, is now facing murder charges in connection with a June 12 incident in which her boyfriend, Mark Ault, was thrown from a vehicle and seriously wounded. He later died from the injuries. She remains in the custody of the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department and is being held without bond. 

Ozark County Prosecutor Lee Pipkins filed the new case against Collins, which now charges her with second-degree murder, tampering with a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in a death. If convicted of the murder charge, Collins will face between 10 and 30 years in prison. The new case replaces the previously filed case that charged her with the lesser offenses of assault and leaving the scene of an accident. 

According to the probable cause statement, prepared by Ozark County Sheriff Cass Martin, around 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 12, the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department dispatch office received a call from a reporting party who said an individual had been run over by a motor vehicle, at Collins’ and Ault’s shared residence six miles west of Gainesville on Highway 160 near Locust Road. 

The sheriff says when he arrived at the residence, he found Ault lying on the ground with a pool of blood around his head.  

The sheriff spoke with a woman on scene, who reportedly told the officer that she’d seen Collins in the driver’s seat of Ault’s vehicle, a 1999 red Ford Excursion, while he held onto the side door of the SUV. The witness said she heard the engine rev up and then saw Ault pull open the passenger’s side door. Collins accelerated quickly and then braked, causing Ault to fly off the vehicle and land near the front of the SUV, where he sustained significant head trauma. The woman said Collins circled back to the area and left the scene. 

Another witness also reportedly told the sheriff that he saw the vehicle go by with Ault hanging onto the passenger’s side, trying to get into the vehicle. That victim said they saw Collins driving and her eventually leaving the scene of the crash. 

At 4:30 p.m. the next day, the Ozark County Coroner contacted the sheriff and said that Ault had died after succumbing to the injuries he sustained in the incident. 

An autopsy has been ordered, and results are expected in two to three months. 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
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Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
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