Oronogo Man Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping Webb City Woman
Threatened to Kill Her, Unless She Recanted Testimony in Criminal Case
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A southwest Missouri man pleaded guilty in federal court today to kidnapping a Webb City, Mo., woman and threatening to kill her and her family unless she recanted her testimony in his state criminal case.
Jeffrey Marsh, 34, of Oronogo, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, one count of kidnapping, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of stalking.
Co-defendant Zaqouri Traves Archer, 33, of Joplin, pleaded guilty on July 21, 2021, to his role in the kidnapping conspiracy and to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Marsh and Archer admitted they kidnapped a victim identified in court documents as “N.J.” and transported her across states lines from Kansas to Missouri.
N.J. was staying at a friend’s residence in Crawford County, Kan., because she was trying to hide from Marsh, her ex-boyfriend. Marsh was angry with her because she had reported him as a suspect when her Ruger handgun was stolen. Officers with the Oronogo Police Department had executed a search warrant on Marsh’s residence on Jan. 26, 2020. They located N.J.’s stolen firearm in Marsh’s bedroom, as well as other firearms, and stolen property. Marsh was charged with receiving stolen property and unlawful possession of a firearm in the Jasper County Circuit Court.
On Feb. 2, 2020, N.J. watched the Super Bowl at her friend’s residence and then walked out to her car to go to work. 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, Archer – who, like Marsh, was dressed in all black – arrived. Archer had a Taser with him. N.J. 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 N.J.’s eyes and face.
At one point as they were driving around and making several stops, Marsh shoved the barrel of his Kimber .45-caliber pistol in N.J.’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 N.J. in her left jaw and told her she was going to recant her statements to the police.
Archer eventually left, and Marsh took N.J. to her apartment in Webb City in his vehicle. Marsh continued to threaten, abuse, and assault N.J. Marsh held N.J. at gunpoint in her apartment and she was unable to leave that night. Marsh told N.J. to recant her earlier statement or her, her kids, and her whole family would die. Marsh told N.J. that she needed to make his weapon charges go away or her kids would die. N.J. later told investigators that she felt in fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to herself,
In the morning hours of Feb. 3, 2020, Marsh took N.J. back to her vehicle so she could go to the Oronogo Police Department to recant her statement. Once at the Oronogo Police Department, N.J. tried to recant her statement, but then disclosed her kidnapping. Later that day, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department located N.J.’s firearm and Marsh’s firearm taped to the bottom of a dresser with duct tape.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Marsh has two prior felony convictions for burglary, three prior felony convictions theft, and prior felony convictions for tampering with a motor vehicle, resisting an arrest, and possession of a controlled substance.
Under federal statutes, Marsh is subject to a sentence of up to life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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 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.