Illegal weapon charge dismissed with defendant's plea to DWI charge

·1 min read

Jul. 12—A rural Joplin man took a plea deal this week requiring him to enter the local treatment court program for impaired drivers in exchange for dismissal of a prior illegal weapon charge that he was facing.

Connor J. Rhodenbaugh, 29, pleaded guilty Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court to a felony count of driving while intoxicated and was ordered into the program by Circuit Judge David Mouton.

Rhodenbaugh had been arrested Jan. 31, 2021, for possession of a sawed-off shotgun in a traffic stop conducted by a Carterville police officer. The officer stopped the defendant because his driver's license was known to be revoked at the time, according to a probable-cause affidavit. He purportedly was carrying the gun behind the driver's seat of his vehicle.

Rhodenbaugh was arrested in September 2021 in Jasper County for driving while intoxicated. Local court records show two prior convictions for driving while intoxicated.

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.