The Missouri Court of Appeals denied the appeal of an Eldon man convicted of a 2006 murder.
The Miller County prosecuting attorney said 45-year-old Kelly Simino's murder conviction was upheld by the Missouri Court of Appeals. Simino was found guilty in October 2011 of killing his former girlfriend, Brandi Mathews.
The court threw out Simino's arguments that he was not awarded a speedy trial, the judge gave the jury improper instructions, and court records from an abuse case were improperly shown to the jury.
According to officials, Mathews disappeared in the fall of 2006 but a missing-person investigation did not get underway until March 2008.
Mathews' skull was found in January 2009 in a creek near Eldon. The next day, Simino was arrested on unrelated charges in Miller County.
In 2011, the prosecutor's office filed murder charges against Simino, and he was found guilty.
Officials said they received a tip that Mathews had likely been killed by Simino. Motel records showed Simino lied to police about where he had last been with Mathews.
The trial judge sentenced Simino to 20 years in prison for the murder, to be served consecutively with other charges, for a total of 31 years.
Miller County officials said besides Mathews' skull, no other remains, evidence or a murder weapon have ever been found. The skull showed impact marks where Mathews' body had been decapitated.