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Tags: Hollywood | reality tv | arrested | murder

Food Network Reality TV Participant Arrested in Cold Case

Food Network Reality TV Participant Arrested in Cold Case

"Restaurant Impossible" is a reality TV show on the Food Network. (Photo 157127293 © Ilnur Khisamutdinov | Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 May 2021 12:24 PM

A Columbia, Missouri, man who appeared on Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible," has been charged in a cold case murder.

Jeffrey McWilliams was arrested on May 11 in connection with the 2017 killing of Augustus Roberts, and charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and armed criminal action, according to Deadline

McWilliams waived his arraignment in court the following day and is being held without bail at the Boone County Jail. 

The murder is believed to have taken place on Dec. 11, 2017. A witness told authorities she saw 3 people wearing ski marks enter Roberts' home and assault him. She also claimed to have heard gunshots, according to People.

Court documents cited by Deadline confirm that McWilliams committed a home invasion with two accomplices. Investigators believe the murder was drug-related as Roberts had previously been indicted on a drug trafficking 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," said DEA agent Steve Mattas in a previously filed affidavit, according to the Columbia Missourian.

"Restaurant Impossible" is a reality TV show that sees its host, Robert Irvine, turn around restaurants that are failing. He worked with McWilliams in July 2019 on his family restaurant, McLanks eatery, which opened its doors in 2017. In 2020, the eatery was featured in the spinoff, "Restaurant Impossible: Back in Business," which saw Irvine help struggling restaurants bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restaurant was reportedly vandalized after it appeared on the Food Network. At the time, McWilliams told KOMU 8 that he and his family "don't have any problems with anybody," adding, "Everybody loves us."

Neighbors living where the murder was committed are relieved that an arrest has been made.

"Four years to solve a homicide which I feel like is a little lengthy to come to fruition," Jerry Fleming, who lives on the same street as Roberts did, told KOMU 8. "I was very much amazed because after living in the city of Chicago, where I had no problems, here's a homicide, committed four doors from my house in Columbia, Missouri," he continued. "It was a little disheartening."

Fleming said he wanted more answers but was glad that McWilliams had been apprehended. 

"It does make me feel somewhat better, but there might have been more than one person involved," he said. 

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TheWire
A Columbia, Missouri, man who appeared on Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible," has been charged in a cold case murder...
reality tv, arrested, murder
426
2021-24-18
Tuesday, 18 May 2021 12:24 PM
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