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Accused arsonist seen throwing body parts during car fire

Firefighters found a dismembered body where the man set fire to 2 apartments and 1 car

The Associated Press

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — A northeast Missouri man accused of killing a man, dismembering the body and setting fires to conceal the crime, hurled the victim's arms at witnesses shortly before he was arrested, police said.

Paul R. Potter, 49, of Kirksville, was charged Monday in Adair County with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with a motor vehicle and is being held on $1 million bond. Kevin Locke, the public defender assigned to represent Potter, did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday seeking comment.

Authorities are not releasing the victim's name until relatives have been notified, the Adair County prosecutor's office said.

Police officers responding to a call of a vehicle fire Sunday arrived at a public housing development in Kirksville and saw Potter "throw two objects, later identified as human arms, towards the witnesses," according to a probable cause statement.

Potter was taken into custody "and blood evidence was later collected from his hands," the statement said.

Fires had been set in two apartments. Officers and firefighters found a dismembered body with additional wounds to the face and sternum in one of the apartments. Both apartments were both strewn with blood.

Potter had taken "substantial steps to conceal the crime and divert attention away from the crime," the police statement said.

Two vehicles also had been set on fire and police said they found several knives inside and around one of the apartments.

Witnesses told police that Potter had been involved in a nearby disturbance earlier that day.

Associated PressCopyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Kirksville is located about 200 miles northeast of St. Louis.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Roy Gumpel Roy Gumpel Wednesday, January 09, 2013 6:26:49 PM I think maybe it's time to edit these stories a bit more. This stuff is more like stuff from The National Enquirer!
Bobby Coble Bobby Coble Wednesday, January 09, 2013 8:19:56 PM Sorry Roy, but this is actually how it happened. I've read the probable cause statement. I have family who know the suspect.
Lori Palmquist Lori Palmquist Wednesday, January 09, 2013 9:16:37 PM How could this be SECOND degree murder, and SECOND degree arson?? If murdering, dismembering, then hurling body parts, and then starting an arson fire would not be first degree offenses, I don't know what is.
Rick Salisbury Rick Salisbury Wednesday, January 09, 2013 9:34:44 PM Probably because he didn't use an assault rifle.
W Joseph Lacks W Joseph Lacks Thursday, January 10, 2013 7:31:00 AM haha, as an investigator I've never seen or heard of this before. crazy stuff
Nick Powanda Nick Powanda Thursday, January 10, 2013 10:24:17 AM Lori, second degree murder just means it wasn't has nothing to do with how violent the crimes were.
Andres Pedraza Andres Pedraza Saturday, January 12, 2013 2:07:02 PM Sticks and stones may break my... Argh!!! Did you just throw a body part at me? Mother f*ck!!!

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