St. Clair County murder suspect dies in apparent suicide days before trial

News-DemocratApril 8, 2014 

A 58-year-old Millstadt man scheduled to go on trial this month in the killing of his wife and shooting of his son in August 2012 was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted shooting Friday.

Ovie Sumpter was charged in 2012 with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his 53-year-old wife, Tina Sumpter, and aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with the shooting of his 23-year-old son, Jason Sumpter, who survived. These shootings were in Cahokia at 502 Cooper Drive.

St. Clair County Sheriff's Department Chief Investigator, Scott Weymouth said police went to 8951 State Route 163 in Millstadt at 9:02 a.m. Friday in reference to a person who had possibly shot himself.

"When the officers arrived on scene, they spoke with some of the victim's relatives who were already on scene. They had gone over to check on the victim because they had some concerns for his well being," Weymouth said.

The relatives had let themselves inside when Ovie Sumpter didn't answer the door to his home. They found Sumpter's body and called police.

Weymouth said police found the victim's body inside his home and he appeared to have died from a self-inflicted wound.

Police recovered the gun they believe Sumpter used.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said now that the defendant is deceased, the case is dismissed. The trial had been scheduled for April 21.

Cahokia police went to the Sumpter residence at 5 a.m. on Aug. 18, 2012, to investigate a shooting in which the caller said the victim needed medical attention.

Tina Sumpter was pronounced dead at the scene. Ovie Sumpter fled and was later captured by police in Pevely, Mo.

When police arrived at the residence, they found Jason Sumpter at a neighbor's house. He told police that his father left the home in a truck and was probably headed to Farmington, Mo.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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