Saunders is sentenced for endangering the welfare of a child

Saunders is sentenced for endangering the welfare of a child
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Marquis Saunders

Marquis Saunders, 20, of Carterville, Mo., is sentenced today for first degree endangering the welfare of a child and resisting or interfering with arrest for a felony.

Saunders will spend four years in prison. A judge gave him four years for each count to run concurrently, or at the same time.

On June 14th, 2018, dispatch received multiple 911 calls about a drive-by shooting at 406 N. Pearl Avenue in Joplin, Missouri. The calls came in around 11:30 p.m. When officers arrived they secured the scene and determined that there were no injuries. Investigators were told that a vehicle described as a dark SUV drove by the home and a person in the SUV fired multiple gunshots.

About three hours later, two detectives were parked in an unmarked police vehicle in the area of Broadway Street and High Avenue. They say a Ford Explorer, which matched the description of the suspect vehicle, pulled up beside them. Marquis Saunders was the driver of the Ford Explorer. Authorities say a passenger in the rear seat of the SUV pointed an unknown object out of the window at them. According to court documents, Saunders sped away when police tried to pull him over.

The pursuit continued into Labette County, Kansas where the vehicle came to a stop. Saunders was arrested by the Labette County Sheriff’s Office. One other adult and four juveniles, a 13-, 14-, 15- and 16-year-old, were also in the vehicle. Three of the juveniles were released to a parent or guardian and one was taken to a detention center due to being reported as a runaway.

Saunders was taken to the Labette County, KS jail before being extradited to Jasper County, MO.

On October 29th, 2018, Saunders pleaded guilty in Jasper County court to one count of first degree endangering the welfare of a child (Class D Felony) and one count of of resisting a lawful stop (Class E Felony).

Jacob Davis entered a plea deal and was sentenced in March for the drive-by shooting. Read more details on that sentencing here.