PARK HILLS, Mo. (AP) – Four suspects have been charged in connection with the deaths of a rural eastern Missouri couple following a fire at their home, including the couple’s teenage son.
The Daily Journal newspaper in Park Hills, Mo. reports that 19-year-old Dallas Halter is charged with first-degree murder, arson and several other related charges. Prosecutors say he shot his parents and then set the family home on fire as part of a premeditated robbery.
The fire broke out before dawn Monday in a rural area near Park Hills in St. Francois County, killing 50-year-old Stanley Halter and his 46-year-old wife, Tammy. Both of the victims’ bodies were found inside their home. Their children had spent the night with a relative.
Online court records show that William Carrico, 19; Adam Moore, 19; and Maxwell Lee, 24, are charged with second-degree murder in connection with the couple’s death. Each listed an Iron County address. Halter told police he lived at the home where the fire broke out.
Authorities determined hours after the fire that the deaths were intentional. That ruling came after an autopsy.
A firefighter at the scene told the Daily Journal that the blaze was raging by the time firefighters arrived, just minutes after a 911 call. The firefighter said the blaze was so intense that it could be felt inside the fire truck as they pulled up.
Dallas Halter remains in the county jail without bond. Court records showed bond for the other three set at $450,000, cash only.
None of the defendants had attorneys by Wednesday evening.
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