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Posted on: April 20, 2023

Cape Girardeau man, 18, charged in fatal 'road rage' shooting on Interstate 70

For Immediate Release
April 20, 2023

An 18-year-old Cape Girardeau, MO, man has been charged in the fatal 'road rage' shooting of an Oak Grove, MO, man near his home on Interstate 70, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced tonight.

Charles J. Smith, dob: 5/18/2004, faces Murder 2nd Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and two counts of Armed Criminal Action.*

According to court records, Missouri Highway Patrol officers responded to eastbound Interstate 70 near Oak Grove on Wednesday evening on a reported road rage incident. Highway Patrol officers found a green Ford pickup that had crashed into a parked car on the outer road. The driver had been shot once. He later died of his wounds at the hospital. Witnesses described a white Hyundai vehicle that had been involved in an incident with the truck. Highway Patrol responded to sitings of the vehicle and used stop sticks to disable the vehicle. The suspect fled on foot and was eventually apprehended about 9:45 p.m. The defendant told police he had been involved in an incident with the Ford that angered him and he fired a shot. He also admitted he tried to get rid of the gun. 

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker issued a statement this evening regarding this case:

The Missouri Highway Patrol worked through the night Wednesday to ensure that the suspect in the shooting on Interstate 70 was apprehended. The community owes them a great thanks. 

As a result, today we have these charges in a totally needless act of violence with the highest range of punishment available under these facts. A family is now without an husband and father who was everything to them. Our roadways are necessary and busy with other travelers getting to their destinations. They must remain safe. Everyone should take note: take a breath, show some restraint, and let everyone get to their destination safely. 

The defendant was being held Thursday evening on a $250,000 bond.

For more information, contact:

Michael Mansur, Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile : (816) 674-3954

*Charges are only accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or pleads guilty.

Charging Document(s)
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