They were neighbors.
William Earl “Bo” Mingues, 47, lived in apartment No. 115 at Independence Village Apartments, 805 Long Street in Newark.
His neighbor Donnie Scheffler, 60, lived at No. 116.
At 2:14 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, Independence County Dispatch received a call that a medical home health aide had entered Scheffler’s unsecured apartment and observed a foul odor. The aide went to the bedroom where they saw a body on the floor with blood spatter on the walls.
A warrant was obtained to search for evidence and investigate the cause of and manner of Scheffler’s death.
According to the arrest warrant issued at the request of 16th Judicial District Prosecuter Eric Hance, Mingues told investigators he could not remember the last time he saw Scheffler.
“He said they were not friends and that he barely knew him,” the warrant stated.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, “Mingues stated Mr. Scheffler ‘always beats on his wall’ and his alarm bell outside the apartment was always ringing.”
Officers noted the apartments are equipped with outside alarms/bells mounted on the exterior of each apartment. During an inspection of the exterior of Scheffler’s apartment, it appeared the alarm/bell had been tampered with which wouldn’t allow the alarm/bell to be heard.
In a post-Miranda Rights interview, Mingues provided graphic specifics.
Mingues stated a female neighbor had asked him to disable the victim’s alarm bell so he did. He was unable to give the name of the neighbor. Mingues said he couldn’t remember the specific day he disabled the alarm/bell.
During the interview, officers observed a red substance on Mingues’ boots and they asked him to take them off. Mingues complied with the request and allowed officers to take a closer look at the boots. The warrant stated that “the red substance appeared to be blood. Mingues was then asked to empty his pockets, which he did, and allowed officers to inspect the contents of his pockets.”
Then Mingues started talking.
“You know what I did and you know why I did it, I had to silence, I had to silence the bell, I had to silence it, he was in pain, agony, suffering. He told me ‘please help me.’ I tried to get him to the doctor, nobody would take him, I tried to do this, nobody wanted him there. I said I’m sorry, there is only one way and that’s to bag it and tag it. I don’t know any other fingway, I don’t know what else to say,” Mingues said.
He informed investigators he struck Scheffler one time on the head and then “described with hand motions how Mr. Scheffler’s head squirted like ‘ketchup.’”
“Absolutely did it, fixed it,” Mingues said.
He then stated Scheffler “literally” asked him to cause his death and did not want him to get in trouble for killing him.
According to the affidavit, officers found Scheffler had blunt force injuries to his head, several sharp force injuries to his abdomen, and both his legs had been severed at the knees.
Sheriff Shawn Stephens clarified that “the family has been notified with the understanding that the body has not been positively identified by the crime lab. It is who we believe it is but not confirmed.”
Mingues is being held on a $1 million bond.