MOUNT VERNON — In a court appearance that didn't show up on the court docket until late Wednesday, John M. Stidham, 46, entered a guilty plea this morning, to a bill of information charging him with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Raymond Staats of Canton.



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6 Responses to “No 'murder' charge in Staats death”

  1. Miriam StJean

    to mr. gary staats

    you’re right – a grand jury would have indicted not only john stidham but his wife for a murder 1 charge

    our prosecutor sold your family out

    keep up the pressure – there are many of us in Knox County who believe this should be investigated

    keep up the pressure on your end, dude; we’ll keep up the pressure on our end to find out why this happened

  2. Gary Staats

    That is why it is called a Secret Indictment. And yes I filed because I was convinced he was still alive…who is to say when he was killed? Raymond stole over $60,000 and diamonds and guns from Stidham. So Raymond never went back down there…he went by force or went unable to move and a plastic bag on his head. And  the probate Presumtion of Death…was not a family member. David Staats was tricked into signing the papers with a promise of a Get of Jail Free card. David never said not word…The bonds woman handled it all. I have a signed Affdavit from David that states he never said a word. A Gran Jury would have Indicted John on Murder 1. The Plastic bag shows INTENT. Plus we can be sure it was all planed including the dump spot. More people involved in this then ya think….hence the reason for the deal.

  3. Guest

    Sounds like he thought things out well enough to decide how to dispose of the body!   And so well in fact, that police themselves & dogs would have never found it. Thats what sheriff Barber said on the news.

    And where did he get the bag from?  I never carry plastic bags around in my car…do you?  …. how convenient.Or a shovel to dig a grave? 

  4. Debbie Henthorn

    Gary – While I completely understand and appreciate the fact that most of your family would be unhappy about this outcome, your own personal outrage is puzzling.

    In the probate case filed by other members of the family, you were the only one to object to the fact that Raymond might actually be dead. Four months after he disappeared, you were positive he had fled the area (or maybe was hanging out on the mean streets of Canton) to escape charges from an investigation that actually wasn’t happening.

    Career criminal or not, Raymond Staats deserved justice that was denied to him.

  5. Gary Staats

    This is an OUTRAGE. They kept it off the Court Docket…WHY? so the Family did not have the opportunity to give an impact statement. Ware is the committing or attempting to commit a  misdemeanor? This was out right MURDER, and brutal at that. It was premedetated, planed. Shot several times and parelized…still alive and unable to doanything about it a plastic bag was put over his head to finish him off. Mr. Prosecuter, why was the family not notified? We are all over the Attorney General. This is far from being over.

  6. Guest

    Is this Knox County’s way of rewarding Stidham for taking care of a criminal so they didn’t have to deal with him?