Shane Bell Sentenced for Shocking Baseball Bat Assault

Clay County Courthouse (photo S Jason Cole).

September 6, 2023 – In a highly emotional hearing, Shane Bell of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, appeared at the Clay County Courthouse for sentencing for first-degree assault, stemming from the baseball bat beating of Moses Ngotho in the 2300 block of Rhonda Road which occurred on July 30, 2021. 

Representatives from the Clay County prosecuting attorney’s office presented a clear case against Bell. According to courtroom statements, Bell’s estranged wife and Ngotho were coworkers at an area hospital. Bell’s wife had been holding a pool party at their former joint residence in Excelsior Springs. Mr. Bell received a call from one of the children at the party who said there was “some man making out with mommy.”

Bell had been drinking that day and had his sister-in-law (his wife’s sister) drive him and his brother-in-law, Aaron Emmanuel to the residence. Upon arriving at the home, where his wife and children resided, Bell and his brother-in-law walked to the backyard to a shed where they retrieved baseball bats. They then entered the home and smashed through the bedroom door where they found Ngotho and Bell’s wife together.

Allegedly, Bell and Emmanuel unleashed a brutal attack on Ngotho striking him with the baseball bats, resulting in serious injuries, including blunt head trauma, fractures of the jaw, a broken parietal bone, brain bleeding, seizures, tooth loss, permanent hearing damage, and an epidural hematoma.

During the trial, Bell’s defense attorney, Mr. Floyd White, argued that Bell’s actions were a result of a temporary lapse in judgment exacerbated by alcohol consumption. White contended that Bell showed remorse immediately after the incident, cooperated fully with law enforcement, sought addiction treatment for his alcohol use, and worked to make amends. He pointed out that Bell knowingly admitted to his wrongdoing, pleading guilty to a class B felony which would forever staty with him. He also said that Bell has made efforts to visit his child and stepchildren and settled a civil case with insurers to help cover Ngotho’s hospital expenses. White also emphasized that Bell’s brother-in-law who also allegedly struck Ngotho with a baseball bat, was never charged with any crime and there was no way to determine how many times each of the men had struck Ngotho.

After the closing arguments, a hush fell over the courtroom as Judge Alexander considered the facts. “This is a very serious case,” said Judge Alexander “This could have just as easily been a homicide.” With that, Alexander retreated into his chambers to contemplate the final sentence. Bell sat, surrounded by friends and family, waiting for the verdict with closed eyes and clasped hands, displaying an air of prayerful contemplation.

Upon returning to the courtroom, Judge Alexander pronounced Bell’s sentence: 13 years under the supervision of the Missouri Department of Corrections. Alexander said the sentence would be served as follows: shock Incarceration, no less than 90 days of jail time (up to 120 days), 200 hours of community service, and five years of probation during which time any violation of probation will result in the fulfillment of a 13-year prison sentence.

The sentencing marks the end of a traumatic chapter for all parties involved, highlighting the consequences of destructive actions fueled by anger and alcohol. Ngotho’s life is forever changed and Bell’s journey towards redemption and rehabilitation now begins as he serves his sentence and seeks to rebuild his own life.

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