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Three courtroom spectators ejected during chaotic Columbia murder sentencing; Dawson sentenced to life

Convicted murderer Bobby Dawson has been sentenced to life in prison without parole. He told Boone County Circuit Judge Joshua Calvin Devine on Friday that he didn’t kill Rod Jones (file photo courtesy of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department website)

A convicted Columbia killer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, following a chaotic Friday sentencing that included multiple courtroom outbursts, shouting and several people being walked to their vehicles by bailiffs for safety reasons.

939 the Eagle News was in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing for 42-year-old Bobby Dawson, who was convicted in August of first degree murder and armed criminal action for the 2020 shooting death of Rod Jones on Quail drive.

Dawson told Boone County Circuit Judge Joshua Calvin Devine Friday that he didn’t murder Jones, saying he used to take care of Jones’ children. He expressed his condolences about the death. A woman in the courtroom then stood up in open court and told Dawson he did kill Jones. Bailiffs removed her from the courtroom.

Two of the victim’s brothers also testified Friday, one in-person and the other by video. The brother who testified in-person told Judge Devine that Dawson didn’t just murder his brother but murdered their family. A spectator in the courtroom stood up and began shouting and cursing at the brother, and that spectator was removed as well. The other brother, who spoke via video, told Dawson after sentencing that he should “rot in hell.” A third spectator was removed when he told Dawson “I love you Bobby.” A 939 the Eagle reporter could hear shouting in the courthouse hall, as Judge Devine told the courtroom he would remove everyone from the courtroom if there was another outburst.

There were at least seven bailiffs and deputies in the courtroom, and that number doesn’t include bailiffs who walked people to their vehicles.

Dawson sat quietly next to his attorney, Ashland’s Matthew Uhrig. Dawson did criticize his attorney at the end of the hearing and accused Boone County assistant prosecutor Nick Komoroski of lying about the type of gun that was used.