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Springfield attorney accused of witness tampering

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Last edited 4:32 p.m., Oct. 9, 2019

Springfield criminal defense attorney Adam Woody has been accused of witness tampering in a murder case that involved an acquittal in his client’s favor.

Butler County Prosecuting Attorney Kacey Proctor on Oct. 4 filed three charges comprising two counts of tampering with a witness and one count of perjury against Woody, according to Butler County Circuit Court filings. The charges allege Woody committed the crimes from August to October 2016.

The charges stem from a March probable cause statement from Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Johnson, who alleged Woody and Linda Amick, the mother of accused murderer Michael Amick, conspired to pay two prisoners to influence their testimony, according to a court filing. Amick, who was represented by Woody, was acquitted of the murder of his grandmother-in-law, Leona Maxine Vaughan, in December 2016 after previously serving eight years in prison for the crime.

Proctor alleges Woody paid one prisoner, James Higdon, to falsely testify that David Youngblood, another prisoner, confessed to the murder during a pretrial hearing. Additionally, Woody allegedly offered to pay Youngblood to withhold evidence by invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, according to the Oct. 4 complaint filed by Proctor. Youngblood, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is serving a life sentence for the deaths of four elderly individuals in 2010.

Woody has hired Springfield law firm Carver, Cantin and Mynarich LLC to represent him. Attorney Thomas Carver provided a statement saying, “Woody expressly and vehemently denies any wrongdoing and looks forward to establishing his innocence in court.”

“It is unfortunate that these charges, which are based upon statements made by convicted felons and in one instance a four-time convicted murderer, would result in criminal charges against an outstanding member of the legal community,” Carver said in the statement.

Woody, who in 2014 founded the Law Office of Adam Woody LLC, was among Springfield Business Journal’s 2017 class of Trusted Advisers.

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