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CONWAY -- Three generations of a family were among six people in jail Friday on charges relating to the shooting deaths of Maumelle's longtime public works director and his wife.


Randal Staton affidavit in Conway slayings case


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Also Friday, a judge set $500,000 bail for each of two youths charged with first-degree murder and felony theft by receiving in the July 21 slayings of Robert and Patricia Cogdell, both 66, of Conway.

District Judge Susan Weaver set Oct. 13 arraignments in Faulkner County Circuit Court for Connor Atchley, 17, of Greenbrier and his girlfriend, Anastasia Roberts, 17, of Conway.

In August, the prosecutor's office filed capital murder and other felony charges against Hunter Drexler, now 18, of Clinton and Justin Staton, the 14-year-old boy the Cogdells had been raising as if he were their grandson. Justin Staton lived with the Cogdells, who had been his legal guardians since 2010, even though a DNA test had ruled out their son as the boy's father.

Justin Staton's mother, Michelle Staton, 36, and grandfather, Randy Staton, 58, have been charged with one count each of hindering apprehension or prosecution, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Justin Staton was being held Friday in a juvenile section of the county jail; Michelle Staton, in a women's section; and Randy Staton, in a section for men.

Like Atchley and Roberts, Michelle Staton and Randy Staton made initial court appearances by video from jail Friday. Weaver set the mother's bail at $50,000 and the grandfather's at $35,000.

According to a police affidavit filed in circuit court, Atchley told officers that the plan to kill the Cogdells for money and credit cards was conceived while he and the other two boys were in a juvenile jail. Atchley reportedly said he told his girlfriend, Roberts, about the plan after he was released, the affidavit said.

"Anastasia advised that there was a plan to shoot and kill Justin's grandparents. She and [Connor] planned to run away and were promised a BMW to use on their run," the affidavit said.

That BMW was the car in which police have said Patricia Cogdell was sitting when someone shot her through a window on the passenger's side on the evening of July 21. Police found blood on the car seat.

Atchley and Roberts had been under a no-contact order in a juvenile matter.

It was unclear how they and the other two teenagers planned to support themselves beyond the money and credit cards police said they stole from the Cogdells, but at one point the affidavit said Atchley's "contribution to Justin's plan is his vast knowledge of marijuana (buying, selling, and growing)."

Attorneys for Roberts and Atchley said their clients will plead innocent at arraignment. Justin Staton and Drexler already have pleaded innocent.

According to an affidavit in Randy Staton's case, Conway police Sgt. Mike Welsh said officers who found the Cogdells' bodies dumped several yards from the couple's house July 22 learned that the Cogdells' white Toyota Tundra truck was missing. Later that day, the report said, police found the missing truck "hidden behind a workshop next to Randy and Michelle's house."

According to that affidavit, Justin Staton's mother and grandfather said he told them of the killings the morning after they occurred. Justin Staton's sister, Alexis Mitchell, reportedly told police that he and three other teenagers had shown up at the Staton house the night before and that Justin Staton appeared to have blood on one of his shoes, although he said it was mud, the affidavit said.

There were "'a few splatters on his shirt ... from I guess moving him [Robert Cogdell] around and trying to get him put off somewhere,'" the affidavit said she told police.

Mitchell also said her brother had a backpack with him, but she believed it belonged to Drexler, the affidavit said.

"She said while Justin was confessing everything, he opened the backpack and she could see two pistols," the affidavit added. "She said they put the guns back in the white truck that belonged to the [Cogdells]. She then went back and said the bag was put in Grandpa Randy's room, and the guns were handled by others in the house. She said that she was pretty sure that Grandpa Randy placed the bag back in the truck, and then parked the truck around back."

The affidavit said police asked Michelle Staton and Randy Staton why they didn't call police as soon as they realized what had happened. Both said they were trying to find an attorney for Justin Staton.

The killings took place about 7:30 to 7:45 p.m. on July 21, the report said. Justin Staton's mother and grandfather learned of the shootings no later than about 9:30 a.m. the next day, it said, and police did not get to the Statons' house until about 4:15 p.m.

"This means that for approximately [seven] hours, Hunter Drexler, Connor Atchley and Anastasia Roberts had time to flee the area and state," the affidavit said.

"I asked [Michelle Staton] if she considered whether or not Robert or Pat could still be alive and [in] need of medical attention," Welsh wrote in the report. "She answered that she had not thought of that scenario."

State Desk on 09/19/2015

Print Headline: 6 now charged in killing of couple


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