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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 2, 2020

Oronogo, Joplin Men Charged with Kidnapping Webb City Woman

Threatened to Kill Her, Unless She Recanted Testimony

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Two southwest Missouri men have been charged in federal court for kidnapping a Webb City, Missouri, woman and threatening to kill her and her family unless she recanted her testimony in another criminal case.

Jeffrey Marsh, 32, of Oronogo, and Zaqouri Traves Archer, 31, of Joplin, were charged together in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield on Friday, Feb. 28.

The federal criminal complaint alleges that Marsh and Archer kidnapped a victim identified in court documents as “Jane Doe” and transported her across states lines from Kansas to Missouri.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Jane Doe was staying at a friend’s residence in Crawford County, Kansas, because she was trying to hide from Marsh. Marsh was angry with her, she told investigators, because she had reported him as a suspect when her handgun was stolen. Officers with the Oronogo, Missouri, Police Department had executed a search warrant on Marsh’s residence on January 26, 2020, and located Jane Doe’s stolen firearm in Marsh’s bedroom and returned the firearm to her.

On February 2, 2020, Jane Doe watched the Super Bowl at her friend’s residence and then walked out to her car to go to work. The affidavit describes that when she opened the front passenger door and placed her purse on the seat, Marsh grabbed her and told her to get into the vehicle. She began screaming and fell to the ground in an attempt to get her firearm out of her purse. She felt the barrel of a firearm placed against the back of her head, and Marsh told her to stop screaming or he would shoot her in the head. In the meantime, the affidavit says, Archer – who, like Marsh, was dressed in all black – arrived. Archer had a Taser with him. Jane Doe was forced into the front passenger seat, with Marsh in the driver’s seat and Archer in the back passenger seat.  Archer placed duct taped over Jane Doe’s eyes and face.

At one point as they were driving around and making several stops, the affidavit says, Marsh shoved the barrel of his handgun in Jane Doe’s mouth and pulled the trigger. The gun made a click, but did not fire. After the click, Marsh chambered a round and shot it outside the vehicle towards a body of water. During the kidnapping, Marsh struck Jane Doe in her left jaw and told her she was going to recant her statements to the police. 

Archer eventually left, the affidavit says, and Marsh took Jane Doe to her apartment in Webb City in his vehicle.  Marsh held Jane Doe at gunpoint in her apartment and she was unable to leave that night. Marsh allegedly told Jane Doe to recant her earlier statement or her, her kids, and her whole family would die. Marsh allegedly told Jane Doe that she needed to make his weapon charges go away or her kids would die.

In the morning hours of February 3, 2020, Marsh took Jane Doe back to her vehicle so she could go to the Oronogo Police Department to recant her statement.  Once at the Oronogo Police Department, Jane Doe tried to recant her statement, but then disclosed her kidnapping.  Later that day, the Jasper County, Missouri, Sheriff’s Office located Jane Doe’s firearm, Marsh’s firearm, and a duct tape roll from a location where they located Archer.

The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Crawford County, Kan., Sheriff’s Office, and the Oronogo, Mo., Police Department.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated March 2, 2020