Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger announces the Missouri Supreme Court has issued its mandate affirming the conviction of Ricky Harding, formerly of Mexico, for the May 2014 killing of Summer Harding of rural Mexico. Harding was convicted in December 2015 after a week-long trial held in Warrenton on a change of venue. The court ordered a technical correction to the Endangering the Welfare of a Child sentencing documents so they matched the jury’s verdict, but in all other respects affirmed Harding’s conviction for the murder of his wife in front of their children in May, 2014.
Harding was convicted of Murder in the Second Degree, Domestic Assault, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, as well as four counts of misdemeanor Endangering the Welfare of a Child, for a May 25, 2014 shooting at his rural Mexico home that killed Summer (Hickman) Harding, 34, of Mexico. Harding is a prior and persistent felony offender. The jury found Harding guilty of the charges after deliberating for nearly five hours. Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger and former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, now Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Turner tried the case in five days from November 30 through December 4, 2015, in Warrenton to a Warren County jury of eight women and four men. Harding was sentenced by 12th Circuit Senior Judge Keith M. Sutherland on February 4, 2016, to thirty years’ imprisonment for the murder.