Bryant Conrad Mendenhall
Bryant Conrad Mendenhall over 13 years. Left, 2010, Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. Center: 2015, Missouri Department of Corrections. Right: 2023 Greene County jail. (Photos compiled by Steve Pokin)

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A 33-year-old man once convicted of using his hands to crush the skull of his own infant sits in the Greene County Jail after he allegedly shot and killed a woman’s dog, while the two were in a moving vehicle, and then broke her nose with the gun.

Bryant Conrad Mendenhall has been charged with domestic assault in the second degree, a Class B felony. It is a crime for which he already once served 3 and 1/2 years in a Missouri prison in a separate incident.

Mendenhall has also been charged in Greene County with unlawful use of a weapon, a Class B felony; armed criminal action, an unclassified felony; and unlawful possession of a firearm, a Class D felony under Missouri law.

According to court documents, a Greene County sheriff’s deputy met Mendenhall and a woman he was with at noon Saturday, Nov. 11, at East Stan Musial Drive and South Highland Springs Boulevard, near the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame off of U.S. Highway 60.

The deputy was responding to reports that a woman had an injury to her face and was with a dog that apparently was shot.

Deputy interviewed them together, then separately

The deputy initially talked to Mendenhall and the woman together. They allegedly told the deputy they were driving east on Stan Musial Drive when someone unknown shot the dog and drove away. They told the officer Mendenhall slammed on the brakes, and that’s how the woman broke her nose.

“After being separated from Bryant, Victim 1 eventually provided a statement,” part of the probable cause statement the deputy wrote about Mendenhall reads. “She said while riding in their vehicle, Bryant was driving. He shot her dog while still inside the vehicle using her semi-automatic handgun. He then hit her in the face with the firearm which broke her nose. He continued to hit her, then threatened to shoot her if she talked or tried to help the dog.”

The report states Mendenhall could not legally possess a firearm due to past crime convictions.

According to an Aug. 25, 2010, story in the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minnesota, Mendenhall was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison after he placed the head of his 3-week-old baby in his hands and crushed the child’s skull.

‘Most shocking case I have ever seen’

The story states Mendenhall, 20 at the time, pleaded guilty to “malicious punishment of a child,” a felony under Minnesota law.

The baby suffered permanent neurological problems as a result of having its head crushed. Mendenhall reportedly “swaddled the boy and handed him to his wife, saying nothing about what he had done.”

The judge, in 2015, called it “the most shocking case I have ever seen.”

The news story further states that Pamela Mendenhall had met Mendenhall over the internet and that he moved to St. Paul from his home in Missouri. Public records show Mendenhall has lived in West Plains, Potosi and Thayer.

Defendant, in Minnesota case, tried to frame his wife

Mendenhall eventually told St. Paul police, according to the news story, that when he crushed the baby’s skull had was upset with his wife over an argument they had.

Mendenhall was in prison in Missouri form Sept. 16, 2015, to March 12, 2019, after he was convicted of second-degree assault and tampering with evidence.

That means, in looking at information from the Minnesota Department of Corrections, he was released from prison in Minnesota in February 2015 and only seven months later was sent to prison in Missouri.

In the Minnesota case, Mendenhall tried to frame his wife. He used her cell phone to text her mother while pretending to be his wife. The false messages stated that she had harmed her baby.

Reporter Jackie Rehwald contributed to this story.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin