Forsyth Man Receives 30 Years for Murder of Ex-Wife

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Eldon E. Ault, Jr. (TCSO booking photo)


by Tim Church


FORSYTH, Mo. – A man from Forsyth is sentenced to 30 years in jail for the shooting death of his ex-wife.

Seventy-three-year-old Eldon Ault, Jr., pleaded guilty and was sentenced on charges of 2nd Degree Murder and Armed Criminal Action, in Taney County Circuit Court on Wednesday, December 20th.

Ault was arrested the morning of March 24th, after sheriff’s deputies responded to his home on a report of a shooting. He told arriving officers that he and 70-year-old Diana Merritt – his ex-wife and current girlfriend – were sleeping together when his pistol, positioned under his pillow, went off.

Ault admitted to shooting Merritt during a post-Miranda interview, but told investigators he was either dreaming or sleepwalking because he doesn’t remember firing the handgun.

Ault was sentenced to 30 years for the 2nd Degree Murder charge and 20 years for the Armed Criminal Action charge. Ault’s sentences will run concurrently with one another, pursuant to a plea agreement.