UPDATE: Homicide suspect connected to restaurant featured on Food Network | Mid-Missouri News

COLUMBIA – Columbia Police announced Tuesday they arrested a suspect allegedly involved in the 2017 homicide of Augustus Roberts.

Police say they arrested Columbia resident Jeffrey McWilliams, 28, for the charges of second degree murder, first degree robbery and armed criminal action. 


According to previous reporting, McWilliams identified himself to KOMU 8 News as an owner of McLank’s, a restaurant located off of Paris Road in Columbia.

In August 2019, KOMU 8 News spoke with McWilliams after he said vandals had thrown rocks and a potted plant through one of McLank’s windows. 

“We don’t have any problems with anybody,” McWilliams said in 2019. “Everybody loves us.”

A few months before this, KOMU 8 News reported on how the Food Network featured McLank’s on its show “Restaurant: Impossible.”

The TV show used local volunteers to help renovate the restaurant in a two-day time frame.

Now, following Tuesday’s arrest, McWilliams is also connected to Roberts’ homicide.

Roberts was found dead at a home he was renting in the 1900 block of Lasso Circle, in the Old Hawthorne neighborhood, on Dec. 11, 2017. Officers arrived on scene around 3:37 a.m. and found Roberts unconscious and not breathing. Officers rendered aid until medical personnel arrived and pronounced Roberts dead. 

Two men plead guilty for drug trafficking connected to deadly home invasion

The home on Lasso Circle that Augustus Roberts was renting.

According to previous KOMU 8 reporting, police said the homicide involved a home invasion and drug use. Investigators believed the suspects targeted and forced their way into the victim’s home. There was another victim, a 24-year-old female, who had minor injuries.

In 2019, an affidavit filed in a drug trafficking case linked Roberts to the case.

“The investigation revealed Roberts was involved in trafficking high-grade marijuana, and was killed during a home invasion where approximately 800 pounds of high-grade marijuana was stolen from a U-Haul truck parked in his driveway,” DEA agent Steve Mattas said. 

The affidavit said the U-Haul was driven from the scene by one of the suspects and abandoned at the end of the cul-de-sac a short distance away. Approximately 94 pounds of high grade marijuana was recovered from the back of the U-Haul, and approximately 3,199 THC oil pens were recovered from a bedroom closet at Roberts’ residence and from the U-Haul, the affidavit said.

Roberts was the son of a Clark County judge, Rick Roberts. 

A news release says the investigation is ongoing and is being handled by the Department’s Criminal Investigation’s Division. 

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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