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Sunday, November 16, 2008

MO- Gunman who killed ex-girlfriend in O'Fallon, Mo. was registered sex offender

Posted in Related Deaths
11-16-2008 Missouri:

St. Johns Mercy Urgent Care Center in O'Fallon, Mo. will remain closed this weekend and reopen Monday.

On Friday, Gary Sheets, 45, held hostage his ex-girlfriend, who worked as a lab technician. Police said he shot and killed Jenenne Meadows, 47, before the SWAT team shot and killed him.

Sheets was convicted in 1998 of sexual assault against a 27-year-old woman in Colorado and served 3 years in prison.

Jeff Lesinski knew the suspect since high school at Ritenor. He believes his friend was frustrated from not being able to get a job after being labeled a felon. Lesinski said, "I think what he did was horrible and unforgivable but I can see how he got pushed into it but it doesn't make it right. I'm sorry for Jenenne and her kids. I'm sorry for his mom and his family. It's a terrible tragedy."

The victim had 3 children, the youngest being a teen.

Her family and neighbors asked for privacy. ..News Source.. by KSDK

Killer of girlfriend in O'Fallon, Mo., sexually assaulted another in 1998

O'FALLON, Mo. — The Gary Sheets who shot his ex-girlfriend dead at St. John's Mercy Urgent Care Center is a stranger to an ex-wife who said he was never violent.

But he would be familiar to another girlfriend — the one who put him in prison for sexually assaulting her in 1998 and told police he threatened to harm her parents.

Information from Sheets' friends, and police reports, suggests parallels between Friday night's shooting of Jenenne Meadows and the sexual attack on the St. Louis woman with whom he moved to Colorado in 1998.

In both cases, he lived with strong-willed women in their homes and would not disconnect when they tried to break up with him.
Sheets, a former blackjack dealer, and Meadows, an avid poker player, met at a bar in the summer of 2007. The divorcees hit it off — but not for long.

The relationship soured after Sheets moved into Meadows' home in St. Peters that October, friends said. He moved out in May. But ill will festered.

Late Friday afternoon, Sheets, 45, calmly carried a pistol into the clinic in O'Fallon, Mo., where Meadows, 47, was a lab technician. He ordered the others out and held her hostage.

He let her call her eldest son, Kyle, 22, to say goodbye. When Kyle didn't pick up, she reached her next-oldest, Anthony, 21.

"She told Anthony what was going on," her ex-husband, Ken Meadows, said Saturday. "Then this guy Gary takes the phone over and got rather graphic as to what he was going to do and how he was going to deal with her."

Eventually, Sheets killed her. MetroWest SWAT officers stormed in and killed him.

What made Sheets snap? Police did not take questions Saturday. But Jeff Lesinski, a friend of Sheets, said the estranged couple had exchanged hostile text messages for weeks.

Ken Meadows, who had three sons with Jenenne Meadows before their divorce in 2002, said she had left Sheets because "he had a significant drinking problem she wasn't willing to tolerate."

Lesinski said Sheets was frustrated because "Jenenne had basically said it was her house and her rules and he wasn't the husband so he didn't get much input as to what happened with the house. Jenenne was pretty forceful and pretty strong-willed."

Dana Miles, of St. Louis, who had married Sheets in 1987, said he got alcoholism treatment during their marriage and was sober for about a year. She divorced him in 1992, after he started drinking again.

"He was a very nice and fun-loving guy, but had an alcohol problem," she said. "He hated guns. He was never comfortable with any of that. And he was not a violent person. He just wasn't. Even when he was drunk, when we were married, he was always the sloppy, fall-down-go-to-sleep drunk. I'm just shocked that it came to that."

In 1998, Sheets moved to Westminster, Colo., with a girlfriend from St. Louis. He continued to live in her apartment there, sleeping on a sofa, after she broke up with him. She would later tell police he refused to move out unless she paid him $4,000 for the cost of giving up a good job to go west with her. She would also say that he was becoming more aggressive, making her afraid with threats to "ruin her" and "destroy her." She told an officer Sheets had said he would not harm her "but would hurt her family, living in St. Louis."

The night of June 1, 1998, according to police reports obtained by the Post-Dispatch, Sheets would not stop banging on her barred bedroom door, so she opened it. She said he sexually assaulted her but stopped when she made fun of him.

The report said she asked him that night, "Why don't you just kill me? This is what you're doing to me anyway." She told police he replied, "Believe me, if I had a gun, I would. Maybe I could go into Denver right now and get one off the street."

She said he also warned her, "I don't care what happens to me, if you go to the police, I'm allowed one phone call. I will use it to call my friends in St. Louis and have them take care of your parents."

Records show that he pleaded guilty of sexual assault and served about two years in prison. After his release in 2000, he moved back to Missouri and had to register as a sex offender.

The conviction meant he could not return to his former job at the Alton Belle.

Lesinski said that he got Sheets a job at his mortgage business for about 2 1/2 years, and that his friend later worked as a pipefitter.

Sheets and Meadows met at a bar last summer, Lesinski said. "He had casino experience, he knew the game well, that's how they started things off, playing the game together," Lesinski said.

Meadows had competed regularly in a bar-based poker league with 6,000 area members.

"She was awesome," said Allan Zwick, the St. Louis-area manger for Nationwide Poker Tour. "She was fun, energetic. She'd get a little drunk and she'd be loud, and kind of fun."

Deziray Vickers, a tournament director, recalled her as "the life of the party" who "laughed a lot."

After the breakup, Sheets took a job with a salvage company that took him to the Western states. He returned about six weeks ago and complained to Lesinski that his chances of finding work were slim.

During that time, the angry texting with Meadows accelerated, Lesinski said.

At the Eagle's Nest in St. Charles on Friday night, word of her slaying stopped poker players in the middle of a game, Vickers said. "Some people were in tears and some were numb. People couldn't focus."

She said, "The shock to me was that Gary was such a nice guy when he was playing poker with me." ..News Source.. by Jeremy Kohler, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

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