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Two soldiers face murder charges in connection to Friday robbery

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Two soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood are behind bars and another from Lebanon is dead following an alleged armed robbery Friday night that ended with the Lebanon man getting shot and killed.

According to the Lebanon Police Department, Ethan J. Williams, 23, of Lebanon, was shot while fleeing the scene of an alleged drug robbery that was conducted by his friends Zachary Gillis, 18, and Blake Paulson, 20, both of Fort Leonard Wood. Gillis and Paulson allegedly dropped the dying Williams off at his home on Monroe Street, where he died of a gunshot wound in his back.

Gillis and Paulson are both charged with second-degree murder for their alleged role in a person dying while in flight from the perpetration of a felony. They are also each charged with first-degree burglary and stealing a controlled substance, according to court records.

In a probable cause statement, the Lebanon Police Department detective wrote that the men “burglarized and robbed a drug dealer with a deadly weapon and (Williams) was feloniously killed during the process and they showed no regard to dumping the body in front of his wife’s house.”

Both men are being held in the Laclede County Jail with bond denied. They both pleaded not guilty during their initial court hearings in Laclede County on Monday afternoon. Bond hearings are set for Dec. 13, court records state.

The person who allegedly shot Williams is a juvenile male who resided at the residence that was robbed. The juvenile is being held at the Camden County Juvenile Justice Center on charges pertaining to the investigation, according to the LPD.

For the complete story, see Wednesday's edition of the Laclede County Record.

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