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.
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Kirksville is located about 200 miles northeast of St. Louis.
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Roy GumpelWednesday, January 09, 2013 6:26:49 PMI think maybe it's time to edit these stories a bit more. This stuff is more like stuff from The National Enquirer!
Bobby CobleWednesday, January 09, 2013 8:19:56 PMSorry Roy, but this is actually how it happened. I've read the probable cause statement. I have family who know the suspect.
Lori PalmquistWednesday, January 09, 2013 9:16:37 PMHow 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 SalisburyWednesday, January 09, 2013 9:34:44 PMProbably because he didn't use an assault rifle.
W Joseph LacksThursday, January 10, 2013 7:31:00 AMhaha, as an investigator I've never seen or heard of this before. crazy stuff
Nick PowandaThursday, January 10, 2013 10:24:17 AMLori, second degree murder just means it wasn't premeditated...it has nothing to do with how violent the crimes were.
Andres PedrazaSaturday, January 12, 2013 2:07:02 PMSticks and stones may break my... Argh!!! Did you just throw a body part at me? Mother f*ck!!!