Man sentenced to life for double murder

Friday, September 7, 2018

Paschall found guilty in Newton County, sentenced Wednesday

An Arkansas man found guilty of double murder in Barry County has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Christopher Paschall, of Springdale, Ark., was sentenced Wednesday to life without parole on two counts of first-degree murder, 170 combined years for three counts of armed criminal action, 7 years for parental kidnapping.

Paschall was found guilty of the six felony charges by a Newton County jury in September 2017 after after killing Casey Brace, 28, and her grandfather, Herbert Townsend, 76, in Washburn in 2015, then taking his daughter to his motherís home in Springdale.

A jury of 10 women and two men convicted Paschall. Special prosecutor Steven Kretzer brought up how Townsend, still alive when authorities arrived, named Paschall when asked who shot him and his granddaughter.

The forensic pathologist, Dr. Keith Norton, said Brace had gunshot wounds to the back left of the head, right side of her chest and left shoulder. The bullet in her head cut her spinal cord, which Norton said would have caused an immediate collapse.

A bullet that struck Townsend went through his brain, shattered his right eye, then traveled through his windpipe and voicebox, eventually found in his lung. Townsend also had wounds on his chest, shoulder, right elbow and right forearm. Three bullets were found, but a precise determination on the number of times he was shot could not be made.

Witnesses said Paschallís vehicle, a blue Nissan, was seen in the area on the day of the shootings in Exeter and in Cassville.

Crime scene photos were also shown, and Kretzer made a point to show a child was in the home, pointing out an oatmeal pie with a missing bite found on a childís desk in the living room.

Paschall's attorney, Andrew Miller, pointed out no physical evidence linked Paschall to the home, nor does the state have a murder weapon. All the bullets are, however, shown to be from the same gun. He also questioned the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Barry County Sheriff's Office investigations, asking why the patrol did not lift fingerprints from the front door, door knobs or the rifle Townsend was holding.

He later questioned why Barry County deputies did not investigate suspects other than Paschall, specifically a man who lived 20 minutes away who "had a history of homicide." Det. Doug Henry, with the Barry County Sheriff's Office, said the victim in that case was the man's father, and the crime occurred when the man was 15 years old.

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