September 27, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster said today Boone County Circuit Court Judge Gary Oxenhandler has sentenced Michael Tisius to death for the June 22, 2000, murders of two jailers at the Randolph County Jail. Tisius was convicted in 2001 on two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. The penalty portion of that sentence was overturned, and Tisius received a new jury trial for the penalty phase of the conviction in July. That jury recommended the death penalty.
Koster said Tisius murdered Jason Acton and Leon Egley during a botched attempt to help his former cellmate, Roy Vance, escape from jail. Tisius and Vance's girlfriend, Tracy Bulington, entered the jail, and Tisius fatally shot Acton in the head at close range. He then shot Egley and took his jail keys to try and release Vance. When the keys wouldn't work, he went back up front where he found Egley struggling with Bulington. Tisius then shot Egley several more times in the head and chest, killing him. The suspects then fled and were later arrested in Kansas. Tisius later confessed to the crimes.
"My deepest sympathy goes out to the families of both the victims," Koster said. "Though nothing can undo these horrible crimes, I'm pleased that our office was able to see that just punishment will be carried out."
The Attorney General's office assisted Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Fusselman in the retrial.