Doniphan, Mo., man to face trial in case of couple found dead in burned home
Thursday, October 27, 2011
DONIPHAN, Mo. -- A Doniphan man will stand trial for his alleged role in the murder of an elderly couple found dead inside their burned home.
Accompanied by his attorney, Thomas Marshall with the Capital Public Defender's Office, Keith A. Boyles appeared Monday afternoon in a Ripley County courtroom for a preliminary hearing in his case before Associate Circuit Judge Thomas Swindle.
The 20-year-old is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and first-degree arson and armed criminal action in connection with the July 10, 2010, deaths of Edgar Atkinson, 81, and Bonnie Chase, 69.
The bodies of Atkinson and Chase were found in their burning Current View, Mo., home. An autopsy determined Atkinson died of gunshot wounds to the head and upper torso. A cause of death for Chase was not immediately known.
When court convened, Marshall told Swindle his client had signed a written waiver to have a preliminary hearing held in his case.
Before accepting Boyles' wavier, Swindle went over the teen's rights to have the hearing and questioned him about his decision. Boyles indicated he understood his rights.
Swindle ordered Boyles to appear at 9 a.m. Nov. 21 before Presiding Circuit Judge Michael Pritchett for arraignment on the charges.
Also charged in connection with the couple's deaths are: David A. Youngblood, 47, and his 34-year-old wife, Melissa M. Youngblood, and their 18-year-old daughter, Chantale N. Youngblood, all of Doniphan.
The Youngbloods, who waived having preliminary hearings in their cases in January, are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree arson and armed criminal action.
David Youngblood's case has been moved to Phelps County, where it will be heard before Circuit Judge Tracy Storie. No date is set at this time.
Chantale Youngblood's trial is set to begin May 14 in Franklin County before Circuit Judge Gael Wood, while her mother's trial is set to start a week later in Shannon County. Their trials are each slated to last five days.
Although they haven't been charged at this time, the Youngbloods and Boyles also are suspects in the deaths of David Youngblood's aunt and uncle, Gladys Irene Piatt, 80, and Loyd Eugene Piatt, 77. The Piatts were found dead inside their rural Doniphan home June 23, 2010.
While authorities initially thought the couple had died of smoke inhalation, they became suspicious when David Youngblood was among those arrested in connection with Atkinson and Chase's deaths.
The investigation into the Piatts' deaths was reopened and their bodies were exhumed, so autopsies could be performed to determine how they died. Both reportedly had been shot in the chest.
Current View, MO