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The Leadwood woman accused of murdering her husband Frank Ancona was granted a bond reduction, of sorts, on Tuesday.

After being arrested last month and charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse, Malissa Ancona was being held without bond. Her attorney, Public Defender Wayne Williams, subsequently filed a motion for a bond setting hearing.

The hearing was held Tuesday before Associate Circuit Judge Joseph Goff Jr. Malissa Ancona, who did not appear for the hearing, was represented by Assistant Public Defender Ayla Chadbourne who appeared on behalf of Williams. The state was represented by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Benjamin Campbell.

Judge Goff ordered bond to be set at $1 million, cash only. The case was continued to March 16 at 1:30 p.m. for setting of a preliminary hearing.

Commenting on the bond, Prosecuting Attorney Jerrod Mahurin remarked that, without bond, per Missouri statute, Malissa Ancona could have invoked her right to a speedy trial and requested that her case be tried within 120 days. Setting a bond, therefore, gives the state more time to properly prepare its case for trial.

Malissa Ancona’s son Paul Jinkerson Jr. has also been charged in the killing of his step-father Frank Ancona. Both defendants entered pleas of not guilty during their separate arraignments on Feb. 21.

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According to a probable cause statement, the homicide occurred on Feb. 9 at the Ancona home, located at 1124 Mill St. in Leadwood. Frank Ancona was shot and killed inside the Ancona’s bedroom.

Investigators believe he was shot with a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun. His body was then placed in Jinkerson's vehicle and taken, along with Frank Ancona's car, to Washington County and dumped. His car was found in the Mark Twain National Forest on a service road. His body was found in the Belgrade area near Big River off Route C.

A search warrant was served at the Ancona home on Feb. 11, which revealed extensive blood evidence in the master bedroom as well as on the sidewalk outside of the residence.

An autopsy conducted Feb. 12 confirmed Frank Ancona died as result of a gunshot wound to the head.

Because of Frank Ancona's association with the Ku Klux Klan — he was known as the “Imperial Wizard” of the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKKK, a group he reportedly formed in 2009 as a modern successor of the KKK — the case has drawn international attention despite the fact that there are no indications his murder was related in any way to his involvement with the group.  

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Amy Patterson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or apatterson@dailyjournalonline.com.

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