Two Paris men charged with first degree murder; Bond set at $1 million each

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Two brothers from Paris — Brett Allen Bodine, 51, and Harry Freemont Bodine, Jr., 53 — were charged with first degree murder Friday in connection with the May shooting death of 33-year-old Joseph Stapleton of Paris.

15th Judicial District Circuit Judge Jerry Don Ramey set bond for the two at $1 million each at a hearing held Friday at the Logan County Detention Center, where the two men are being held.

The two men were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder after being questioned by investigators with the Logan County Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police, according to Logan County Chief Deputy Sheriff David Spicer. The two men have also been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and hindering apprehension or arrest, Spicer said.

During the interview and after initially denying any knowledge about the shooting, Harry Freemont Bodine told investigators he went to see Stapleton at a house on North Fifth Street near Paris because he “wanted to talk to Joe (about) what he had done to (Joe’s) dad, Bill Finney and that Joe came out of the house with a brake drum and was coming towards him and he shot him,” according to criminal information filed Friday with the 15th Judicial District Circuit Clerk for Logan County.

The criminal information also states that investigators found seven shell casings from .32-caliber ammunition at the scene when Stapleton’s body was found on Tuesday, May 14. Neighbors living in the area told investigators that they heard several shots being fired on the night of Monday, May 13. One witness said he saw a car with two men in it being driven down North Fifth Street on Monday, May 13.

The criminal information also states that Harry Freemont Bodine and another person came to the residence on North Fifth Street on May 14 to feed the dogs, found Stapleton’s body and called 911.

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