Clay County woman says she was choked by husband before fatally shooting him: Police

A Clay County woman accused of killing her husband Tuesday told police detectives that her husband had choked her before she shot him, according to court documents.

Melissa Hoffner-Allen, 48, is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of her husband, 50-year-old Ricky Allen. She pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday.

Allen and Hoffner-Allen had celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in November, according to social media posts.

Personnel from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 16200 block of Kountry Ridge Drive, north of Kearney, Missouri, around 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to the sheriff’s office.

Hoffner-Allen told to police detectives that she shot her husband in the chest with a semiautomatic firearm, according to court documents. She was the 911 caller who alerted police about the shooting.

Allen was pronounced dead at the scene, and Hoffner-Allen was taken into custody, according to the sheriff’s office.

Hoffner-Allen told detectives that Allen “was mad at her” Tuesday night and had assaulted and choked her, according to court documents. She told detectives that she got away and retrieved the gun, which Allen had bought her, from upstairs.

She said Allen goaded her to shoot him, according to court documents.

Shell casings were found on the staircase in the home the couple shared, according to court documents. Several more guns were also found inside the home.

Hoffner-Allen had visible bruises on her arms when she was arrested, according to court documents. She was charged Tuesday and is being held in the Clay County Detention Center on a $250,000 bond.

Allen worked as a union pipefitter, according to social media posts. He is survived by his children Dylan, Autumn and Bekah, as well as four grandchildren.

Bekah Allen, a recent graduate of Kearney High School, described her father as “a legend within the community.”

“He never failed to make people feel accepted and loved,” Bekah Allen wrote on Facebook. “He was the most loyal friend and was always willing to help someone in need.”

Hoffner-Allen is scheduled to appear in Clay County court at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 15. She could face between 10 and 30 years in prison, according to court documents.