Jeffrey McWilliams, who appeared on a 2019 episode of Food Network's Restaurant Impossible with his family business McLanks, has been charged in a 2017 drug-related homicide

By Glenn Garner
May 15, 2021 08:15 PM
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Jeffrey McWilliams
Credit: Boone County Jail

A restaurant owner who appeared on Food Network's Restaurant Impossible has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in a cold case.

Jeffrey McWilliams, 28, of Colombia, Missouri, was arrested on Tuesday, and he was also charged with first-degree robbery and armed criminal action in connection to the December 2017 murder of Augustus Roberts, according to Deadline.

McWilliams waived his arraignment in court on Wednesday and is being held without bail at the Boone County Jail. The judge granted a bond investigation, and a hearing is set for May 18.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

McWilliams appeared on Restaurant Impossible in July 2019 when host Robert Irvine gave his family's restaurant McLanks a makeover, helping prevent the business from shutting down. The eatery was featured in an August 2020 episode of the spinoff Restaurant Impossible: Back in Business, in which Irvine helps restaurants bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

McLanks serves "American comfort food," and it was founded by McWilliams, his four siblings and his mother Sheila Lankford, according to the restaurant's website. They opened their doors in December 2017, the same month Roberts was killed.

A witness allegedly told authorities that she saw three people wearing ski masks who forced their way into Roberts' home on December 11, 2017, and assaulted him. She said she also heard gunshots as she ran away.

Investigators believe the home invasion and homicide were drug-related as Roberts was involved in high-grade marijuana trafficking, according to The Columbia Missourian, which reported that approximately 800 pounds of marijuana was stolen from a U-Haul truck parked in his driveway.