Ozark County landowner scheduled to face jury trial for allegedly shooting daughter-in-law multiple times in 2015
Angaline Ryan, 60, of West Plains was scheduled to have a pre-trial hearing in Texas County Tuesday. Ryan, an Ozark County landowner, is charged with first-degree assault, serious physical injury and armed criminal action in connection with allegations of a April 13, 2015, ambush-style shooting of Tammy Hathcock, her daughter-in-law, in the midst of what court records describe as “a bitter divorce” between Tammy Hathcock and Ryan’s son, Jeremy Hathcock. Ryan is scheduled to face a Texas County jury Dec. 11-15.
If convicted of first-degree assault, the more serious of the charges, Ryan could face life in prison. The case was transferred from Howell County to Texas County on a change of venue motion filed Feb. 16, 2016.
According to Ozark County records, Ryan and Donnie Haynes are owners of a residential lot on the North Fork of the White River south of Dora. The relationship between the two isn’t known. Another property owner in the area told the Times shortly after the charges were filed that the couple sometimes visits a primitive cabin on the lot on Gun Flint Trail.
According to the probable cause statement in the case, Tammy Hathcock was in her driveway on County Road 6300 in Howell County about 2 p.m. the day of the incident. Minutes later, she drove into the parking lot of the nearby Fairview School, honking frantically to summon help. Employees at the school, on K Highway about 3 1/2 miles west of Highway 63 in West Plains, called 911.
The responding officers arrived to find Hathock inside a Toyota Camry, bleeding heavily from multiple gunshot wounds. Bullet holes and shattered windows were visible on the vehicle’s driver’s side.
Hathcock told officers she’d been in her driveway minutes before when an unknown suspect, with a “covered face,” emerged with a handgun and started shooting. the statement says.
It was in those minutes, before Hathcock was taken by ambulance to a Springfield hospital for surgery, that officers received their first clue in the case. They were told, according to a report by Howell County Sheriff’s investigator Justin Riley’s, that the breakup of the woman’s marriage had turned bitter.
Riley and investigator H.D. Reid were the first to arrive at Hathcock’s home located on a single driveway off a county road that splits and leads to two separate homes. The other house is where Angaline Ryan and Donnie Haynes live. At the scene, investigators collected glass as well as several shell casings from a .380 caliber Winchester handgun.
That evening, while still at Hathcock’s house, investigators heard a vehicle arrive next door and went to talk to Ryan and Haynes. According to court documents, Ryan “had no questions about a shooting that happened within eyeshot of her house” and asked investigators to leave because they “were disturbing her privacy.”
A concrete slab where Hathcock was parked when she was shot is not visible from the county road or from any other house other than the one in which Ryan and Haynes live, documents say.
Through surveillance footage obtained at a nearby bank, investigators were able to verify that Ryan was not at her job at Regional Title Inc. on Main Street in West Plains for a two-hour stretch when the shooting is believed to have occurred. Two days after the shooting, after executing a search warrant at Ryan’s business, officers found a .22 caliber handgun and discovered the serial number had been removed.
According to the probable cause statement, “Ryan stated the handgun had been given to her from her son, Jordan Hathcock. Ryan stated Jordan obtained it from a friend who purchased it with the intent to kill his own wife.”
Hathock, 42, eventually recovered from the shooting and told investigators her husband’s family was “upset about the pending divorce.” At the time of the shooting, Hathcock’s husband was in another state, police say. He later told investigators he “never gave any firearm to his mother.”
Online court records show Tammy Hathcock and Jeremy Hathcock were due to appear at a hearing in the divorce, which included child custody issues, the same week as the April 13 shooting.
When Ryan was asked where she was at the time of the shooting, she initially told investigators she met Haynes for lunch and checked out a house, according to the probable cause statement. It also notes that, in separate phone calls, she later told investigators she and Haynes went home at lunchtime on the day of the shooting “to have sex” and then she went home to “get a zip drive.”Court documents show Ryan told investigators she did not own a .380 caliber handgun.
Search warrants turned up a partial box of .380 caliber ammunition at Ryan’s house in West Plains and .380 caliber shell casings at property she owns on Gun Flint Trail in Ozark County. An analysis by the Missouri State Highway Patrol crime lab showed the casings found in Ozark County were the same as the casings discovered at the crime scene, according to the probable cause statement.
Two people connected to Ryan, a former employee and a business associate, told investigators they previously saw Ryan with a .380 caliber handgun, the statement said. The associate told Howell County Sheriff Mike Shannon that Ryan told him she had “bought the handgun without the serial number on it to kill her husband with.”