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Springfield man faces death penalty in mother's slaying

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. | Greene County prosecutors have upgraded charges against a Springfield man to first-degree murder in the death of his mother.

Twenty-three-year-old Skyler Russo was originally charged with second-degree murder in the June 2 death of 54-year-old Judith Roth, who was beaten and choked.

But during a hearing Wednesday, Dan Patterson, chief assistant Greene County prosecutor, said Russo’s statements since his arrest show that Roth’s death was premeditated, prompting the upgraded charges.

Court documents indicate that Roth tried to have her son temporarily committed four days before her death. She had called police at least twice this year after being attacked by Russo.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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