After a package bomb killed an elderly Tennessee couple, investigations have led to their son-in-law being arrested for placing the package bomb in their home in Lebanon, 40 minutes from Nashville.
The bomb, which exploded at 5 p.m. on Monday, killed 74 year old Jon Setzer instantly, while his wife, Marion Setzer, 72, was evacuated by air to a hospital in Nashville in a critical condition. She passed away from her injuries on Wednesday night.
According to Jeff Fulton, a special ATF agent in Nashville, the package bomb had been placed at the residence. He told a news conference that this is an ongoing investigation and welcomed people to come forward with any information on the case. Fulton assured residents in the area that the bomb was not shipped in the mail but was placed in the residence.
Initially an $8,000 reward was offered for any information which would lead to an arrest and conviction, and Fulton said this reward was still on offer up until Thursday this week.
On Thursday this week, police arrested 49 year old Richard Parker, son-in-law to the deceased couple. He was taken into custody from his house, close to the Setzers’ home in Lebanon. Parker is reportedly still married to the Setzers’ daughter.
While investigators had established the package was the source of the blast, they have been quiet about its contents. They have also not stated whether the package was targeted against someone in particular. However, they did confirm the son-in-law was arrested for placing the package bomb that killed the Tennessee couple.
Mark Gwyn, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said officials feel they have arrested the “single person responsible” for committing this crime.
State Fire Marshal’s Office spokeswoman Katelyn Abernathy told the media she had no information about a possible motive for the killing. Parker was, however, convicted of arson in 1993 in Giles County. According to records, at that stage he was sentenced to four months of probation.
According to Senior Pastor Mike Ripski, the deceased couple attended the Lebanon First United Methodist Church. Ripski said that their home was a place of blessing and peace and that the horrific incident has left all who knew them in “disbelief and profound grief.”
Jon Setzer had been working as an attorney, handling wills and trusts, but was suffering ill health in recent years. According to friends, he was on dialysis and also suffered from high blood pressure and heart problems. His wife, Marion, had previously worked as a dental hygienist.
Nashville attorney, John Stark, told the media that they were completely dazed by what had happened, saying that Setzer was “one of the good guys”, and a good lawyer.
John Lloyd, who is a retired dentist, had known the family for several years. Marion Setzer worked for him in the past as a hygienist. He said they were two of the finest people he ever knew, and that they were “good Christian people.”
Parker has been indicted on two counts each of premeditated first-degree murder and also felony first-degree murder for the deaths of John Setzer and his wife Marion Setzer. On top of the first degree murder charges, Parker has also been charged with one count of unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon.
Parker, the Tennessee couple’s son-in-law, arrested for placing the package bomb in the Setzers house, is currently being held on a $1 million bond.
By Anne Sewell
The Kansas City Star