OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
APRIL 10, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NIXA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO TRANSPORTING
“SUMMER CLOUDS” BY EDGAR PAYNE SOLD TO
CALIFORNIA GALLERY FOR $175,000
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Nixa, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court to transporting a painting across state lines after he stole it from a nursing home patient and sold it to an art gallery for $175,000.
Micah Owen Shatswell, 29, of Nixa, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England on Thursday, April 9, 2009, to the charge contained in a Dec. 17, 2008, federal indictment.
By pleading guilty, Shatswell admitted that on April 25, 2006, while he was employed at St. John’s Mercy Villa, an assisted care facility in Springfield, he stole the painting from the room of a resident at the facility. The painting was “Summer Clouds” by Edgar Payne, a noted American Impressionist painter.
Shatswell sold the painting to Edenhurst Gallery, an art gallery in Palm Desert, Calif., for $175,000. Shatswell told the gallery that he had obtained the painting from his uncle. On May 2, 2006, he shipped the painting to Edenhurst Gallery.
Under federal statutes, Shatswell is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at