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Assault arrest after short manhunt

                                      Photo Submitted
By Chief Patrick Burton

On May 6, 2020, at approximately 1500 hours, the Licking Police Department received a report of an assault, which took place at a residence located on South Main Street. The victim alleged he was assaulted by James Varnum and that he had been stabbed in the face with a knife.
A short-term manhunt was conducted and, with the assistance of the Texas County Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Varnum was located at a residence in Raymondville, Mo. Varnum fled on foot once law enforcement officers made contact with him and a foot pursuit began. Varnum was ultimately located and apprehended a short time later.
Varnum was transported to the Texas County Sheriff’s Department where a formal interview was conducted. During the interview, Varnum admitted to assaulting the victim by striking him multiple times in the face with his closed fists, causing a laceration to the victim’s face. Varnum also admitted to fleeing from law enforcement officers after receiving a lawful request to stop.
After competing the investigation, no evidence was discovered to support the allegations made by the victim in regards to being stabbed with a knife. A Probable Cause Statement has been sent to the Texas County Prosecutor’s Office seeking the following charges:
James D. Varnum, age 34, of Licking, Mo.; Assault Third Degree – Felony; Resisting Arrest by Fleeing – Felony.
The above information is just mere accusations and is not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of any charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


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