On October 10, the Monroe County Courtroom hosted a group of people for reasons other than court. The room was filled with friends and family members to honor the hard work and dedication of Monroe County Chief Deputy Joe Colston. Sheriff David Hoffman, surprised Chief Deputy Colston, presenting him a plaque for his lead in a four-year murder investigation.
Sheriff Hoffman stated, “I consider Monroe County to be one of the safer counties to live in Missouri, we are a rural, ag related economy with small businesses and a lot of really good people. However, monsters do appear in safe communities like ours from time to time.”
Hoffman referred to the murder of Zachery Dawson, which occurred in Madison. Hoffman stated, “In Feb 2014, one of those monsters reared his ugly head and committed murder right here in our safe community. Chief Deputy Joe Colston took lead on this investigation and with help from the Highway Patrol’s DDCC, spent hundreds of hours interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, listening to phone records and testifying in court on behalf of the deceased Zachery Dawson and his family. Chief Deputy Colston sacrificed his days off and family time to make sure that all aspects of this case were investigated thoroughly and a conviction was secured in this case.”
Hoffman shared with those in attendance Colston’s dedication to the case brought the conviction of co-defendant, Jessica Monoz, who pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence. Monoz received a seven-year sentence in July of 2016. The investigation also brought the guilty conviction of Jason Lage for crimes of second degree murder and armed criminal action in May of 2018.
Lage was sentenced to Life plus 50 years in prison. On September 24, 2019, Lage’s conviction was affirmed by the Western District Court of Appeals.
Sheriff Hoffman stated, “The conviction and sentencing took a little over 4 years but Chief Deputy Colston’s outstanding investigating skills brought distinct credit to himself, this office and Monroe County,” as he thanked him for all he does.
Everyone in attendance applauded Colston for his hard work and effort, including Judge Michael P. Wilson, Prosecutor Tally Kendrick and several Monroe County employees.