Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man Pleads Guilty of Killing Man in Marijuana Business

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Man Pleads Guilty of Killing Man in Marijuana Business

Article excerpt

A prison sentence between 20 and 40 years awaits a man from Madison County who admitted Tuesday that he, his brother and a teen-aged girl were involved in the murder last year of a man who ran a secret marijuana business in Highland.

Joseph M. Runge Jr., 27, of New Douglas, pleaded guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery in the death of Donald "Moon" Schwend, 62, last February. In an agreement between defense attorney Steve Evans of Edwardsville and Assistant State's Attorney Susan Jensen, the sentence must be between 20 and 40 years when it is imposed later by Chief Criminal Judge Charles V. Romani Jr.

Under state law, Runge will have to serve all of the sentence because it is for murder. He was the second of the three charged to enter a plea. In August, Ria Schumacher, 17, pleaded guilty of the same counts and drew 30 years. Jensen said Schumacher had compared her and her friends' exploits to the movie "Natural Born Killers," the fictional story of a young couple on a murderous rampage. …

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