Woman faces upped charges in death

CLINTON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri woman accused of dealing drugs from a home where an ex-convict fatally shot one police officer and wounded two others is now charged with first-degree murder and, if convicted, she could be sentenced to death or a life in prison.

Prosecutors announced Wednesday that the charge against 37-year-old Tammy Dee Widger has been upgraded from second-degree murder in the death of Officer Ryan Morton. The Kansas City Star reported that she also faces two first-degree assault charges and felony drug counts.

Officers mistakenly went to Widger’s home in Clinton last month in response to a 911 call, instead of a property in town 20 miles away. Widger said in a jailhouse interview that she thought James Waters had slipped out the back to avoid police when she let the officers inside, and that she didn’t know he had a gun. Waters opened fire before barricading himself inside the home.

Waters and Morton were found dead inside the home hours later.

The Henry County Prosecutor’s Office said that although Waters is believed to have shot the officers,

By Patricia Older

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