Alleged teenaged murderer Westrip trial moved to December 2020

The trial of Trystan Westrip, a Republic teen accused of murdering an elderly Strafford woman and attempting to burn down her home has been moved back to December of next year, upon the request by Todd Myers, assistant Greene County prosecuting attorney.
In a motion for a continuance filed on July 10, Myers cited “unexpected family medical issue” as the reason for being unable to try the case, scheduled at the time for Monday, Aug. 5. The continuance was granted on Monday, July 29, without objection from the defense.
According to online records, Westrip is now scheduled for jury trials on Dec. 7, 2020, and Dec. 14, 2020. A pretrial conference is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 28.
In addition to first-degree murder and attempted arson in the second degree, Westrip, now 19, is also accused of armed criminal action and tampering with a motor vehicle.
Westrip allegedly murdered the victim, Mary Shisler, 80, on Oct. 21, 2016. According to the probable cause statement filed in the case, Greene County deputy sheriffs were dispatched to Shisler’s residence in Strafford after a neighbor reported seeing a vehicle in Shisler’s driveway which he didn’t recognize.
The neighbor said he went to the house to check on Shisler, and found the back door open and a strong smell of propane or some other fuel coming from the house. The neighbor said he went inside and noticed a gas heater and a burner on the stove were turned on, so he turned them off and called 911. The neighbor also said the house looked like it had been “ransacked.”
When the deputies arrived, they did a protective sweep to find Shisler, but were unable to locate her. They did find a bottle of lighter fluid, which had been cut open and some toilet paper set on the kitchen table with a match sticking up out of it. They also found a couple of drops of possible blood inside the door, near the door handle.
The deputies checked the vehicle in Shisler’s driveway and found it was linked to Westrip, then 16. They then provided information about Shisler’s truck to surrounding law enforcement agencies; a Missouri State Highway patrolman located it later and stopped it; Westrip was driving the vehicle.
After being stopped, Westrip allegedly made a spontaneous statement that he “killed the old lady” who owned the truck and dragged her body into a field. Westrip was taken back to the crime scene, and he showed investigators where Shisler’s body was. He was transported to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and read juvenile certification rights, with a juvenile officer and his step-father present.
In a post-Miranda interview, Westrip said he decided to leave home after an altercation with his parents. He intended to go to Canada, but didn’t believe his vehicle could make the trip, so he drove along some backroads until he came across Shisler’s residence, which he said appeared to be abandoned.
Westrip said Shisler came out and offered to go to the gas station with him and buy him some gas, but he didn’t want to go to the gas station with her, so he parked his vehicle behind hers so she couldn’t leave in her truck.
According to the probable cause statement, Shisler allowed Westrip to come into her house, gave him a cell phone and told him to call someone who could help him. Westrip told investigators he pretended to dial some numbers. Afterwards, Shisler said she wanted him to go with her to a neighbor’s house and see if the neighbor could help him.
As they walked along the road, Westrip allegedly took a knife and stabbed Shisler repeatedly and dragged her body into a field to hide it. He thought he saw her still twitching, so he stabbed her about seven more times.
Westrip then went back to Shisler’s house, where he took several items, including syringes, nails, Shisler’s purse, medications and a bone-handled knife. He loaded these items into Shisler’s truck, along with items from his car, and then attempted to burn down Shisler’s house by pouring lighter fluid all over the floors of Shisler’s house and turning on a gas heater and stove burner. He also soaked a roll of toilet paper in lighter fluid, lit a match and stuck it on the roll. Westrip said he believed he would be burning down the residence so any evidence would be destroyed. He said he realized his plan failed when he looked back from down the roadway and couldn’t see any smoke or flames.
Westrip also told investigators he drove Shisler’s vehicle to Marshfield, stopping at a few places, including a camp where he allegedly stole a firearm, before being detained.
As of press time, Westrip was being held without bond in the Greene County Jail.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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