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Thread: Capital Murder Trial Set for June 19, 2017 for Grayden Lane Denham in 2016 MO Multiple Murders

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    Capital Murder Trial Set for June 19, 2017 for Grayden Lane Denham in 2016 MO Multiple Murders


    Heather Denham and Mason Schiavoni


    Russell and Shirley Denham






    Edgerton man indicted on 4 counts of murder in relatives' deaths

    Victims' bodies found outside burning home in February

    By Peggy Breit
    The Kansas City Star

    PLATTE CITY, Mo. — A Platte County grand jury indicted Grayden Denham, 24, on charges of first-degree murder in the slayings of his grandparents, his sister and his three-month-old nephew.

    Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd announced the charges in a news conference Monday.

    The bodies of Russell Denham, 82, Shirley Denham, 81, Heather Ager, 32, and infant Mason Schiavoni were found outside their burning Edgerton home in mid-February. Investigators said the victims appeared to have been shot and set on fire.

    A dog found dead in the yard had also been shot.

    "Every victim had sustained one or more gunshot wounds, the canine had sustained gunshot wounds and every victim had been set on fire," said Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen.

    Grayden Denham was arrested in Arizona two days after the fire. Police said he drove there in his grandfather’s Nissan Versa, which he had been told not to use because his license was suspended.

    "This is a devastating thing to happen to a family and to happen to a community and our goal has been and will continue to be to do justice for everybody involved in this case," said Zahnd.

    The charges against Grayden Denham carry a minimum penalty of life in prison without parole. Zahnd said he has the option of seeking the death penalty but has not yet decided whether he will.

    "We will collect as much information as possible before we make that decision, but my expectation is it will be a period of at least a month, perhaps several," he said.

    Grayden Denham is also charged with arson, animal abuse, stealing a motor vehicle and armed criminal action.

    His bail has been set at $4 million. He's expected to appear in court at 9 a.m. Thursday.

    http://www.kmbc.com/news/edgerton-ma...eaths/40245734
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

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    Denham arraigned on murder, arson charges

    Grayden Denham stood handcuffed and rocked back and forth Thursday morning as a judge read for eight minutes the murder-related charges the defendant now faces.

    A Platte County, Missouri, grand jury charged Denham last week with four counts of first-degree murder, four counts of armed criminal action and single counts of animal abuse, arson and tampering with physical evidence.

    All of the charges stem from the deaths of Russell Denham, 82, Shirley Denham, 81, Heather Ager, 32, and 3-month-old Mason Schavoni. Their shot and burned bodies were found Feb. 19 outside a home destroyed by fire in Edgerson, Missouri.

    Grayden Denham is the grandson of Russell and Shirley Denham. The defendant’s mother was in the Platte County courtroom for Thursday’s hearing, as the case was set for an Aug. 4 hearing to see if he gets an attorney. She has maintained that she doesn’t believe her son carried out the crimes.

    http://www.newspressnow.com/news/loc...25629f1fc.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

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    Trial date set for quadruple homicide case

    Circuit Judge James Van Amburg held a hearing Thursday for Grayden Denham with his attorney, John O’Connor. O’Connor had been representing Denham for allegedly stealing a car, but hadn’t filed to represent him when he was arraigned on murder charges.

    Van Amburg set the case for a jury trial on Monday, June 19, 2017.

    Denham is charged with four counts of first-degree murder, four counts of armed criminal action, and single counts of animal abuse, arson and tampering with physical evidence.

    All of the charges stem from the deaths of Russell Denham, 82, Shirley Denham, 81, Heather Ager, 32, and 3-month-old Mason Schavoni. Their shot and burned bodies were found Feb. 19 outside a home destroyed by fire in Edgerson, Missouri.

    http://www.newspressnow.com/news/loc...392ccd055.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

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    Denham could be facing death penalty

    By Marshall White
    News-Press Now

    PLATTE CITY, Mo. — Prosecutors still haven't decided if they will seek the death penalty in a 2016 quadruple-murder case in Edgerton, Missouri.

    Grayden Denham currently faces multiple felony charges, including four counts of first-degree murder, four counts of armed criminal action, arson and tampering with physical evidence as well as a misdemeanor for animal abuse.

    Denham is accused of killing grandfather Russell Denham, 82, grandmother Shirley Denham, 81, and family members Heather Ager, 32, and 3-month-old Mason Schavoni. He wasn't present for a court hearing Thursday.

    However, Mark Gibson, the assistant Platte County prosecutor, informed Circuit Judge James Van Amburg the state had offered Denham a plea bargain of life in prison without parole. The deal was to be accepted or rejected by May 4.

    Defense attorney John O'Connor said he'd informed the defendant of all plea offers but could neither accept or reject this offer.

    Gibson moved to have Denham brought to court so he could read him the entire plea offer. O'Connor objected, saying this would violate attorney/client privilege.

    The judge denied Gibson's request.

    The case is set for a trial to begin Monday, June 19. The state must file a notice prior to the trial if it intends to seek the death penalty. The defense could ask for a delay because of the change.

    http://www.newspressnow.com/news/loc...3c9cf7c23.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

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    Platte County prosecutors plan to seek death penalty in 2016 quadruple homicide

    By Glen E. Rice
    The Kansas City Star

    Platte County prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty in the quadruple homicide of four family members whose bodies were found burned outside a home near Edgerton.

    Grayden Lane Denham, 25, is accused in the shooting deaths of his grandparents, his older sister and 3-month-old nephew and then of methodically setting their bodies on fire.

    A hearing is set for prosecutors to present evidence to support the death penalty on June 1 in Platte County Circuit Court. Prosecutor Eric Zahnd declined to comment about the filing. Zahnd has previously hinted that he was considering seeking the death penalty.

    Denham was charged in June with first-degree murder after authorities discovered the bodies of his grandparents, Russell Denham, 82, and Shirley Denham, 81; his sister, Heather Ager, 32; and her son, Mason Schiavoni.

    A grand jury indicted Denham in the deaths and also charged him with animal abuse for allegedly shooting the family dog; arson for allegedly setting fire to the home at 4170 Buena Vista Road in rural Platte County; and tampering with physical evidence by allegedly destroying the bodies of the victims and the residence.

    He is being held in the Platte County Detention Center with bond set at $4 million. Denham has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges. John P. O’Connor, who is representing Grayden in the criminal case, could not be reached for comment.

    Denham’s mother, Shelley Denham, said they were surprised that prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty.

    “We believe that Grayden is 100 percent innocent,” Shelley Denham said. “We want to know who did this but we don’t believe Grayden did it.”

    Denham had already been charged with theft for allegedly taking his grandparents’ car without permission and driving it about 1,200 miles to Seligman, Ariz., where police arrested him as he walked around naked.

    On Feb. 19, 2016, authorities were summoned to the family residence on a reported fire. Arriving emergency crews found Russell Denham’s body east of the house near a small shed. The bodies of Shirley Denham, Ager and Mason were found in front of the house.

    Each of the bodies, including the dog’s, was burning when firefighters arrived, according to authorities.

    Heather Ager died from gunshot and shotgun wounds to her head, according to a copy of a death certificate obtained by Shelly Denham. Someone also shot the grandparents and Mason in the head before setting their bodies on fire. Mason was in his mother’s arms.

    Details of what led to the shooting and fire have not been released because the case was presented to a grand jury.

    Denham occasionally lived at the residence where they died. He was not allowed to drive his grandparents’ vehicles because his Missouri driver’s license had been revoked for points violations and child support enforcement, according to authorities.

    http://www.kansascity.com/news/local...152810439.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

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