Newlywed soldier allegedly burglarizing homes hours following wedding accused of murder after accomplice dies

Source: MEGA; Lebanon police

Dec. 8 2021, Published 3:14 p.m. ET

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A newlywed and his accomplice in Missouri are charged with second-degree murder in connection to the shooting death of their fellow soldier, authorities said.

On Dec. 3, Blake R. Paulson was married around 6 p.m. According to a probable cause statement obtained by KOLR, at some point that evening, Ethan Williams called Paulson and Zackary R. Gillis and allegedly asked for their help burglarizing homes in Laclede County.

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Paulson later allegedly told his Army CID Special Agent that the three, who are all soldiers stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, kicked down the door of a trailer in Lebanon and stole an Xbox gaming console before going to a second residence and taking money and marijuana belonging to a 16-year-old male who lived there.

As the armed men left the second home, the 16-year-old shot at them and struck 23-year-old Williams, but the trio managed to flee. Court documents state the soldiers drove to Williams’ home, where a neighbor shot video that allegedly shows Gillis and Paulson pulling the wounded Williams from the trunk of a car, laying him on Williams’ front yard and driving away.

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Williams died from his gunshot wounds, and, according to court documents, Gillis and Paulson later turned themselves in to their sergeant, according to KOLR.

Gillis and Paulson each face a second-degree murder and first-degree burglary charge and were being held without bond at the Laclede County Jail.


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