KSDK - If a police officer dies while on the way to help search for a suspect, is that suspect responsible for the officer’s death? That’s one of the questions a jury will have to answer in the trial of a High Ridge man.
On April 20, 2005, police say 28-year-old Massigh Stallman shot a Gasconade County deputy during a robbery. The deputy was seriously injured, but survived. Stallman, who allegedly robbed a convenience store, then stole the car of a woman who lived above the store and led police on a chase and manhunt, prosecutors say.
As the manhunt got underway for Stallman, who had crashed on Highway 50 and fled into the woods, police officers from around the area came to assist. One of those officers was Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Ralph Tatoian. Trooper Tatoian was driving on I-44 near Pacific, heading for the search area, when he crashed into a stalled tractor trailer. Trooper Tatoian was killed in the crash.
Police eventually found Stallman and arrested him. In addition to the charges related to the burglary and car theft, prosecutors charged Stallman with Trooper Tatoian’s death, charging him with second-degree murder.
Jury selection was scheduled to begin Tuesday.