St. Francois County Circuit Court Judge Sandra Martinez denied a motion from murder suspect 51-year-old Melvin Scherrer’s defense team to dismiss St. Francois County prosecuting attorneys because they were “vindictive.” Scherrer of Bonne Terre is accused of killing Cape Girardeau tattoo artist Samuel Francis in 2013. Francis’ body was found in a septic tank. A probable-cause statement filed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol says witnesses said Scherrer struck Francis with a bat and taped Francis’ hands and eyes at Scherrer’s home. Francis was allegedly dragged away alive. Francis’ body was discovered after an FBI investigation of the Saddle Tramps Motorcycle Club, of which Scherrer was a member. He was convicted of several federal drug charges in Dec. 2014, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, two counts of felony possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm while in commission of a drug crime. He was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison in Aug. 2015. He faces St. Francois County charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action, felonious restraint, abandonment of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Martinez set another motion hearing for Aug. 5.