HARRISONVILLE, Mo. – Prosecutors dropped a murder charge against a man who claimed to have lured drug dealers to his remote western Missouri cabin, killed them and spread their remains across the property.
A search in August turned up 35 bone fragments and a tooth at the property near Drexel, fueling suspicion about Michael Shaver's claims that he had killed as many as seven people.
But Cass County prosecutor Teresa Hensley said Wednesday that an anthropologist had determined the fragments belonged to a medical cadaver.
"From the investigation standpoint, it was a mess," said Cass County Sheriff Dwight Diehl.
"We do have people occasionally who admit to committing some type of crime, but not to this extent, and usually those are pretty easy to tell whether they did anything. In this particular instance, a lot of what he was saying, most of what he was saying, was being verified by the evidence," Diehl said.
The murder charge was replaced with felony counts of attempted robbery, armed criminal action, resisting arrest and tampering.
Those charges stem from a failed carjacking Aug. 18. Shaver told deputies as he was being placed in a patrol car that he knew about human remains on the property and he wanted to talk to someone about it, officials said.
Shaver appeared in court Wednesday wearing a black-and-white jumpsuit, shackles, and his hair cut in a mohawk.
He was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of making a false report, and Associate Circuit Judge William Collins entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. He was to appear afterward before a different judge on the felony counts.