An altercation in the home of Jeffrey and Wendy Leighton, of County Road 435, led the Howard County Sheriff, the New Franklin Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol to the residence last night at approximately 6 p.m.
Howard County Sheriff Charlie Polson said they had received a 911 call that an individual was headed to the Cooper County Hospital. Polson said the call reported that Mrs. Leighton had been stabbed by her husband, Jeffrey Leighton, a 42-year-old male, of the same residence.
Polson said first responders, medics and Howard County deputies met Mrs. Leighton and her two daughters at the Snoddy's Store parking lot, where they discovered Mrs. Leighton had suffered two stab wounds to her left side. At that point, Polson said it was determined that Mrs. Leighton be life-flighted to the University of Missouri Hospital by helicopter. "My deputies and New Franklin Police Department went to the residence and determined that Mr. Leighton was still inside and they secured that residence," Polson said. "After I arrived we began to apply for a search warrant for the residence to try and get Mr. Leighton out of his home. At that time I activated the Missouri State Highway Patrol team to come and assist us and try to gain entrance into the residence. After the protocol of trying to reach Mr. Leighton on his cell phone and home phone along with verbal commands, it was determined that Mr. Leighton would not exit the residence."
Polson said the next step for their protocol was to use a robotic camera arm to knock out a few windows and look inside the house because of the severity of Mr. Leighton having a weapon or weapons.
"We were trying to be safe for the officers," Polson said.
After it was determined that the robotic camera was unable to see Mr. Leighton in the residence, Polson said the next step was to apply tear gas to the residence. At 12:30 a.m., Polson said Mr. Leighton exited the house and surrendered himself to law enforcement after the tear gas was applied to the residence.
Medics were on scene and it was determined that Mr. Leighton had barricaded himself in the bathroom in the bathtub, Polson said.
After Mr. Leighton had exited the house, Polson said it was determined that Mr. Leighton had self-inflicted stab wounds to his abdomen, wrist and his neck area and was transported by ambulance to the University of Missouri Hospital, where he was taken into surgery.
Mrs. Leighton was also taken into surgery for her stab wounds to the side, Polson said.
"As of this morning both Mr. and Mrs. Leighton were in stable condition," Polson said.
Polson said the incident is still under investigation. "We will file charges this afternoon," Polson said. "We will probably file first degree assault and possibly child endangerment. "Everything worked out and nobody was seriously hurt considering there were weapons in the house. I would like to thank the New Franklin Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol for their assistance in safely getting Mr. Leighton out of his residence."
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