By Melissa Shriver
Monday, August 11, 2008 at 6:09 p.m.
A Hannibal man is dead after what police call a senseless act of violence. Police say two men beat 45-year-old Rodney Wood to death as he drove home early Sunday morning.
22-year-old David Ater and 21-year-old Nathan Stice, both of Hannibal, have been charged with his murder.
Police say Wood was riding his motorbike home from downtown Hannibal early Sunday morning after a night out with friends when tragedy struck. At first it appeared to be an accident, but after looking deeper into the evidence it was clear that someone beat Wood to death.
Police say Wood encountered Ater and Stice at the 2100 block of Broadway.
Hannibal Police Chief Lyndell Davis said, "They crossed paths of the 2100th block of Broadway, there's some discrepancy on what happened but there is some evidence that they struck him possibly when he was on the bike."
Davis said, "In this particular, this case was a completely random act with no premeditation that we're aware of. They crossed paths in the middle of the night and unfortunately an altercation happened and as I understand we lost a good man in the community for absolutely no reason whatsoever."
Davis added, "What we have are two individuals that obviously did not value life and an altercation occurred and we have a very negative result and there's consequences to be paid for that. There's no correlation between gang activity."
Friends say Wood saw the two men attacking a female and stopped to help. That's when the men began attacking him.
Was he a good samaritan at the time?
Davis said, "That rumor about the good samaritan. I cannot confirm or deny, we don't have any evidence except he did encounter these two. There appears to be no previous history except this is a senseless act."
Ater and Stice face second-degree murder charges and involuntary manslaughter. Kidnapping charges have also been filed against the men. Those charges stem from holding women against their will when they tried to answer the door for the police.
Both are in the Marion County Jail on $500,000 bond.
Wood leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Everyone we talked to who knew Wood says he was a loving and supportive family man.
He was a supervisor at BVCP Enterprises and Campground. One of his favorite things was coaching Hannibal's Youth Wrestling Program. He did that for 10 years and passed on his love of the sport to his sons.
Visitation is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. August 14 at James O'Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home.
He will be laid to rest at Grand View Burial Park.