Washburn shooting now a double homicide

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Alleged killer stalked victim for months before committing crime

A Springdale, Ark., man is awaiting extradition from the Washington County, Ark., jail after allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend and her grandfather, then taking his 2-year-old daughter.

Christopher Paschall, 37, of Springdale, Ark., is facing charges of first-degree murder, a class A felony, first-degree assault, a class A felony, and armed criminal action, an unclassified felony.

On Monday at about 1:30 p.m., Paschall allegedly shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Casey Brace, 28, of Washburn, at a home near Farm Road 1055 and 8th Street in Washburn. Paschall also allegedly shot Brace's grandfather, Herbert Townsend, 76, of Washburn. Townsend died at Cox South Hospital Monday night as a result of the multiple gunshot wounds.

Mick Epperly, Barry County sheriff, said Paschall was an immediate suspect for the crime because of the Barry County Sheriff Office's recent dealings with him.

"We've dealt with him over the last six months for property damage to stalking," Epperly said. "He disconnected a propane line once, as well, so stuff like that is one of the reasons he was a suspect right off the bat."

After allegedly killing Brace and wounding Townsend, Paschall took his 2-year-old daughter and fled to Arkansas. Epperly said law enforcement got a ping from Paschall's cell phone, leading Springdale's SWAT team to surround a home, where Paschall was found upstairs about four hours after the shooting occurred.

Paschall is now being held in the Washington County, Ark., jail awaiting extradition to Missouri. Epperly said Paschall will have to appear before an Arkansas judge and sign the extradition papers, which could take about a week. If Paschall declines to sign, the sheriff's office will have to try to get a governor's warrant, which Epperly said may take some time.

The 2-year-old taken by Paschall is in the custody of the Arkansas Department of Family Services and is expected to be brought to Brace's family. Paschall and Brace had two children together, and the other was at school at Southwest at the time of the shooting. A third child of Brace's was also at school. Those two children are now with Brace's family.

Epperly said two Barry County detectives interviewed Paschall in Washington County Monday night. He said investigators believed Paschall used a pistol to commit the crimes, but the weapon has not yet been found.

"We are going to search his car in Arkansas and we hope the weapon turns up there," he said.

Epperly said an autopsy was performed on Townsend Tuesday afternoon.

"A lot can come out of that," he said. "We could recover a bullet, find out how close the shooter was or what angle he shot from. This is just the process we go through."

Epperly said the alleged homicide is the first in Barry County since August 2011, which saw Jimmy Nelson plead guilty in 2013 to the murder of his girlfriend, Vicki Clark.

Although Paschall is from Arkansas, he is no stranger to the Barry County judicial system. Brace filed an order of protection against Paschall on Oct. 20, 2014, and the order was granted. The terms of the order stated Paschall was to stay 300 or more feet away from Brace, to not communicate with her and to not enter her home.

According to court records, Paschall allegedly violated the order of protection on Nov. 24, 2014, and again on Dec. 15, 2014, facing class A misdemeanors for both incidents.

Paschall also received a speeding ticket on Nov. 15 in Seligman for going 20-25 miles per hour over the speed limit.

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