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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A three-day investigation of an explosion that killed a widely loved and well-respected Tennessee couple in their 70s ended Thursday with authorities charging a son-in-law who lived directly behind them and had been previously convicted of arson.
Richard Parker was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Jon and Marion Setzer, as well as unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon, said State Fire Marshal's Office spokeswoman Katelyn Abernathy.
Abernathy said she did not have any information about a possible motive for the bombing. Authorities did not release any information about the Setzers' daughter, Parker's wife, other than to say that he was the only person charged.
Jon Setzer, 74, was an attorney who handled wills and trusts, but he had been in very ill health in recent years. Friends said he was on dialysis and had heart problems and high blood pressure, among other health issues.
Marion Setzer, 72, had formerly worked as a dental hygienist.
A package exploded at their home on Monday at about 5 p.m., killing Jon Setzer immediately and critically injuring Marion Setzer, who died at a hospital on Wednesday.
Reached by telephone the day before his arrest, Parker declined to talk about the deaths with The Associated Press. Parker ran Legacy Restorations, a business that specializes in historic restorations, according to its website. His house was just behind the Setzers' in a semi-rural area of Lebanon, about 40 minutes east of Nashville.
Parker was convicted of arson in 1993 in Giles County and sentenced to four months of probation, according to records.
The Setzers were well-loved and respected by their former colleagues and neighbors, who were struggling to comprehend their deaths.
"We are just dazed by what happened," Nashville attorney John Stark said. "Jon was one of the good guys. He was a good lawyer. He taught Sunday school."
Stark, who said he's known the Setzers for more than 30 years and attended church with them, described the former lawyer as quiet and humble man.
John Lloyd, a retired dentist, said he also has known the family for years, first when Marion Setzer worked for him as a hygienist in Nashville and later when they attended church together in Lebanon.
"They were two of the finest people I ever knew, good Christian people who loved their children," Lloyd said.
Lloyd said Marion Setzer stopped working for him when she became pregnant with the couple's son, Jon Leo Setzer Jr. The child died at age 3 when he was mauled by a neighbor's German shepherd in 1977.
The story was front-page news at the time as officials debated whether to have the dog put down.
Bob Taylor, who lived about a block from the Setzers for many years, said they were "nice folks" and good neighbors. Jon Setzer volunteered do the legal work to set up their local homeowners association. Taylor said he and his young children all helped search for the Setzers' little boy when he went missing. Taylor and his wife had not heard from the Setzers for a few years before they learned about the explosion on television.
"My wife was home by herself," he said. "It just knocked her for a loop."
To me it sorta sounds like trying to get rich quick, from the victims will. All to often people know they are going to inherit lots of money,and can't wait. I worked with a guy back in 1970, that he and his wife both tried numerous times to kill his parents. The sabotaged his parents car brakes and numerous other things to make it look like a accident. When everything failed, he went to his parents home and shot both of them, then set the house on fire trying to cover it up. He got caught and sentenced to life in prison, and his wife divorced him. The really funny thing was, everything his parents had or owned was left to one of his cousins. Just goes to show you, that crime doesn't pay. Bet he was really po'd when he found out who inherited everything.
Would you leave money to someone who tried to kill you?
motive??? money what else
So sad! Rest In Peace Mr. and Mrs. Setzer!
Well let's see, well off couple gets murdered and who might be the first person to benefit monetarily from that . I somehow would not be a bit surprised if he had the bomb making stuff,still sitting on the dining room table where he built the damn thing. People like this should be used for crash test dummies......
so very sad,what a horrible way to go
I thinking he didn't want his wife to wait for the inheritance! Not to say she is involved but I'm sure it's motivated by money most rotten stuff in life is . . .
That was my exact thought when I read this article. His restoration business must not be doing well. I doubt his wife (the victims' daughter) even knew about her husband's plan. What a shame - now she has lost both her parents and her no-good husband.
No doubt motivated by greed, or revenge, or both, or maybe they just hurt his feelings as what seems to be the going thing for killing people these days. Either way, to kill a loving couple in their golden years with not much time left is down low with the other bottom feeders. Don't let this monster sit in jail eating our food and getting our health care for the next 20 years, while so many of us have to struggle to survive.
i agree. he deserves the death penalty.
Evil is not always obvious but there it is in a mug shot.
I, AM, SO SORRY FOR THIS COUPLE, TO HAVE BEEN ROBBED OF WHAT WAS LEFT OF THE LAST OF THEIR GOLDEN YEARS TOGETHER. (HAND STILL IN CAST)