One of the men accused of murdering a Cape Girardeau tattoo artist had his case continued Tuesday while his attorneys address federal drug charges against him. 42-year-old Brent Bouren of St. Louis faces state charges of second-degree murder, armed criminal action, witness tampering, second-degree assault and felonious restraint in connection with the death of Samuel “Tick” Francis who had been missing since December. His body was found July 25 in a septic tank near Bonne Terre, Mo. Bouren’s case was continued to Jan. 14 to give Bouren and his attorneys time to work out issues related to the federal case against him. The day before authorities found Francis' body, federal agents searched property near Bonne Terre and arrested the owner, 49-year-old Melvin Scherrer as part of a drug trafficking investigation that eventually yielded charges against 25 suspects, including Bouren. After the discovery of Francis' body, St. Francois County prosecutors charged Scherrer with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, felonious restraint, abandonment of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence. 43-year-old Otto Plopper of French Village, Mo., also faces a charge of felony abandonment of a corpse in connection with Francis' death.
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