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Missouri man who said he was a KKK leader found dead

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LEADWOOD, Mo. — The attorney for a man accused of killing his stepfather, a purported Ku Klux Klan leader in Missouri, says his client is innocent.

Prosecutors in Missouri’s St. Francois County filed first-degree murder and other charges on Monday against 44-year-old Malissa Ann Ancona and her son, 24-year-old Paul Edward Jinkerson Jr.

They’re accused in the fatal shooting of 51-year-old Frank Ancona, who called himself an imperial wizard with the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

A probable cause statement accuses Jinkerson of fatally shooting Frank Ancona while his stepfather slept on Thursday. Authorities say the body was taken in Jinkerson’s vehicle to an area about 20 miles away along the Big River, where it was found Saturday by people fishing.

Jinkerson’s attorney, Eric Barnhart, says he doesn’t believe Jinkerson was involved in the killing. He declined further comment.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Malissa Ancona has an attorney.

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1 p.m. (Previous update)

The wife and stepson of a Ku Klux Klan leader found fatally shot next to a river in eastern Missouri have been charged in his death.

A probable cause statement alleges that 51-year-old Frank Ancona was fatally shot in his sleep on Thursday. His wife, 44-year-old Malissa Ann Ancona, and her son, 24-year-old Paul Edward Jinkerson Jr., were charged Monday with first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse.

St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department detective Matt Wampler wrote in a probable cause statement that after the shooting, Ancona’s body was taken in Jinkerson’s vehicle to an area near Belgrade, Missouri, about 20 miles away.

A family that was fishing in the Big River found the body Saturday.

Ancona called himself an imperial wizard with the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

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10:30 a.m. (Original story)

The wife of a Ku Klux Klan leader from Missouri who was found fatally shot over the weekend is jailed on suspicion of first-degree murder.

An official at the St. Francois County Jail told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Monday that 44-year-old Malissa Ancona is in custody. Charges have not been filed.

Her husband, 51-year-old Frank Ancona, was found fatally shot near the Big River Saturday. He had not been seen for several days. His vehicle was found Thursday on a forestry service road near Potosi.

Ancona called himself an imperial wizard with the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. A website for the group includes an image of Ancona in a white hood and robe standing in front of a burning cross.