Despite the passage of almost 24 years, no one has stood trial in connection with the death of Jimmy Wade Martin of Desloge.
According to police reports at the time, Martin went to a bar on Friday, October 13, 1989. The bar was across the street from Politte's Tavern in Bonne Terre. Police believe the incident started on the parking lot of what was known as the Last Chance Saloon and there may have been other people involved.
Martin was found two blocks away from the bar lying on a sidewalk in front of a residence in the 100 block of Mound Street shortly after midnight. He was bleeding profusely from head wounds. He was taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead two hours later.
Police found a 4-by-4 post near the victim. They believed he was struck with the post four or five times.
Twelve hours after finding Martin on the sidewalk, David Brian White of Bonne Terre was arrested and later charged with second-degree murder. A second person was taken in for questioning and "was held for investigation of first-degree murder." That person was apparently never charged and White's charges were dismissed just days before his trial was scheduled to begin. Then-Prosecuting Attorney Gary Stevenson indicated there were some problems with evidence.
Today officers say the evidence was tainted somehow. Officers said while the murder occurred in Bonne Terre, the sheriff at the time acted as coroner that night and took over the investigation.
The day the charges were dismissed the prosecutor was quoted in the Daily Journal as saying, "This case is not ended by any stretch of the imagination."