Murder suspect claims self defense in Callaway County killing

CALLAWAY COUNTY, Mo. - A man who was arrested and charged with murder on Wednesday is claiming self defense, according to a probable cause statement.

Michael Hatfield, 47, of Readsville, told police he and James Newsom, 49, of Readsville, were at Hatfield's home in the 10300 block of Erin Drive in Callaway County and drinking while Hatfield packed for an upcoming move, court documents said.

Hatfield said Newsom attacked him, hitting him several times. Hatfield told police Newsom was armed and reached for the gun, so Hatfield shot Newsom and then passed out on the floor, documents said. 

Hatfield said when he woke up, Newsom was dead on the floor. Hatfield said he had to leave his residence to call authorities because he did not have any cell phone service, court documents said. Hatfield made the call to police about six hours after the shooting happened. When deputies arrived, they found Newsom already dead. 

During an investigation, the Callaway County Sheriff's Office talked to a witness who said they saw Hatfield leave his house and walk to Newsom's house. They said when Hatfield left Newsom's house, he had something small in his hand, court documents said. Police said this activity appeared to have happened just before Hatfield called 911. 

Newsom was shot about seven times, court documents said.

Hatfield was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. 

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