Toby Gregory pleads guilty in ‘16 murder of his wife

A U.S. Army veteran who brutally shot and killed his estranged wife outside an Owensville motel in Aug. 4, 2016, pleaded guilty in Gasconade County Circuit Court July 26 and was sentenced to 24 years in prison for second-degree murder.

Toby Franklin Gregory, 44, of Bland, jailed since he shot and killed Inez Christilina Gregory, 30, was originally charged with first-degree murder but was not eligible for the death penalty, according to Prosecutor Mary E. Weston in April 2017.  He shot himself in the chin in an apparent unsuccessful attempt to take his own life that evening.

Gregory shot his wife once inside the motel and five times in the head at point-blank range outside where she fell. Gregory was also sentenced to a concurrent 6-year term for his guilty plea to armed criminal action. Gregory had been scheduled to stand trial Sept. 11-13 before retired Circuit Judge Gael D. Wood. Wood accepted the guilty plea and passed sentence.