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A St. Francois County man has been charged following a murder that occurred at his residence on Saturday afternoon.

Christopher Lewis Gates, 41, of rural Farmington, has been charged with murder in the first degree and armed criminal action. His bond is set at $500,000 cash only.

According to a probable cause statement by St. Francois County Det. Matt Wampler, deputies were dispatch to a Wolf Creek Road residence for a person in full arrest on Saturday.

On arrival, deputies met with Phyllis Gates, who directed them to a bedroom occupied by Christopher Gates. Phyllis Gates told deputies she was afraid of what her son might do if he heard the deputies in the house.

The court document indicates that the body of Heather Huffman was located in the bedroom. Huffman was the girlfriend of Christopher Gates. There was a significant amount of blood in the room.

Wampler stated that he found several blunt objects around the bedroom that due to blood on them or around them appear to have been used to beat Huffman to death.

The report states that Phyllis Gates told deputies that shortly before calling 911 she had looked into the bedroom and saw Christopher Gates lying next to Huffman in the bed. She stated that Huffman was covered in blood and already deceased.

Phyllis Gates also confirmed that no one other than herself, Christopher Gates, and Huffman had been in the home prior to the arrival of emergency personnel.

According to Sheriff Dan Bullock, two deputies were treated and released at Parkland Health Center for minor injuries. Court documents do not provide information as to how the deputies were injured.  

As of Sunday afternoon, Gates was being treated at a St. Louis area hospital. In an interview with Det. Wampler at a hospital, Gates admitted that he did kill Huffman.

At this time, the prosecuting attorney’s office is not seeking any charges against Phyllis Gates.

Christopher Gates was placed on supervised probation for assault on a law enforcement officer in 2016 after allegedly pointing a handgun at off-duty officers in Leadington. 

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Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616.

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