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The rural Park Hills man charged with the November murder of his son-in-law was denied a bond reduction during a trial setting hearing Wednesday before Circuit Judge Wendy Wexler Horn.

Since being taken into custody following a domestic dispute resulting in the death of Christopher Goodman and the wounding of James Lowry, Clinton Wheeler has been held on a $1 million cash or surety bond.

Appearing before Judge Horn Wednesday, Wheeler’s attorney said the man suffers from ongoing health problems that require regular hospital treatment, which would be more easily attained if he were released on bond.

Also appearing in court were family members of the murder victim. Goodman’s mother addressed Judge Horn, requesting that Wheeler not be granted a reduction in bond.

After hearing from the defense and prosecution, Judge Horn denied the request for a reduction in bond.

Wheeler was arrested following a Nov. 11 altercation involving Wheeler, Goodman and Lowry who all lived in the same home, according to court documents.

After Wheeler and Goodman became involved in a physical confrontation, Lowry also became involved. Wheeler allegedly had a handgun in his back pocket in anticipation of the fight, which he retrieved and fired, wounding Lowry and Goodman.

Lowry was taken to Mercy Hospital Jefferson, while Goodman was pronounced dead at the scene by St. Francois County Coroner Jim Coplin.

Wheeler appeared for initial arraignment before Circuit Judge Sandra Martinez on Jan. 5, at which time he requested a change of judge, which was granted.

Wheeler faces charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree assault.

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Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at


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