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Victim identified in Wimer area homicide

A man who was fatally stabbed Friday in the Wimer area was identified Wednesday as Matthew James Joseph Stephens, 23.

Stephens had been staying at the homes of friends in the area, according to a press release issued by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Brenden Rex Stansell, 20, is being held in the Jackson County Jail without bail on a charge of second-degree murder.

The District Attorney’s office was expected to present evidence in the case to a grand jury Wednesday, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Mike Moran.

Stansell appeared Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, where Judge Benjamin Bloom ordered Stansell be held without bail and appointed a defense lawyer to represent Stansell.

Stansell’s only criminal history was a conviction last fall for methamphetamine possession, court records show. Last October, Stansell entered a conditional discharge program that would expunge the felony conviction if he followed terms such as entering in a drug treatment program and complying with probation officers.

Benden Rex Stansell, 20, is being held in the Jackson County Jail on accusations he fatally stabbed 23-year-old Matthew James Joseph Stephens near Wimer. JCSO booking photo.