Pulaski County Sheriff's Office releases details from the Evans murder trial case

On October 23, 2006, at 7:49pm the Pulaski County 911 Communications Center received a request for an ambulance in the Hunters Point area of Waynesville, Missouri. The first call was for a 19 month old male child who was having breathing difficulty. A Pulaski County Ambulance District crew along with local fire/rescue units was sent to the residence. The first address given by the caller was not located and the rescue units were unable to find the correct address. The child was then rushed by private vehicle to the Ft. Wood Hospital. At a road side location on Rt. H the private vehicle found the ambulance and the child was placed in the ambulance.

At 8:15pm the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department was notified of this call and the reported observation that the visible injuries to the child did not match the severe nature of his condition. Several reserve deputies of the Detective Division of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department were notified and responded to the hospital.

The child was flown by helicopter from the Ft. Wood Hospital to the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. The Sheriff’s Department Detectives met with the Childs parents and conducted interviews at the Ft. Wood Hospital. On October 24, 2006, the Detectives were notified that the child’s injuries were consistent with a severe case of trauma due to violent shaking. The Detectives were advised that the child had died. An autopsy was scheduled for October 25, 2006, and Detectives from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department attended the autopsy. The autopsy revealed injuries to the brain that were severe and consistent with child abuse.

At the conclusion of the death investigation a statement of probable cause was completed on Nov. 6, 2006, by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Detectives and sent to the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney for the filing of a criminal charge. On Nov. 8, 2006, the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney filed one count of murder in the second degree and one count of abuse of a child resulting in death, on Ryan N. Evans, age 23, of Ft. Wood, Missouri.

The court action in Pulaski County Circuit Court continued for some time and was then sent to Phelps County Circuit Court on a change of venue. The case was also referred to the Office of the Missouri Attorney General for prosecution. During June of 2011 Assistant Attorney General Susan Boresi was appointed to handle the case. Boresi and her investigative aide Steven Hayden began to prepare for the actual court trial.

On Monday Sept. 24, 2012, the trial began in Phelps County Circuit Court. Following almost two weeks of testimony on Thursday Oct. 4, 2012, the Phelps County Jury returned a verdict of guilty on both criminal counts on Ryan N. Evans at the conclusion of phase one of the trial.

On Friday October 5, 2012, the second phase of the trial, the punishment phase, got underway in front of the same jury. Following testimony on the facts and circumstances that could influence the range of punishment verdict on Oct. 5, 2012, the Phelps County Jury rendered a verdict. On count number one, abuse of a child resulting in death, the jury set the punishment at life imprisonment. On count number two, murder in the second degree, the jury set the punishment at thirty years.

At the conclusion of the trial Ryan Evans was remanded to the custody of the Phelps County Sheriff. The formal sentencing for Ryan N. Evans will take place in Phelps County Circuit Court in approximately eight weeks.

Sheriff J. B. King; “I would like to commend three of my deputies who carried the main load on this case from the start of the investigation through to the courtroom testimony. These deputies are; Sgt. Jim Beasley and reserve Detectives Don Hayden and Bill Anderson. I would also like to commend Attorney Susan Boresi and Investigator Steve Hayden from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. They did a tremendous job in organizing this case and presenting the case to the jury.”