Leader Blues

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TOP STORY >> Jacksonville teen linked to murders

By JOHN HOFHEIMER
Leader senior staff writer

A Jacksonville youth has been charged as an adult in connection with the grisly discovery on Dec. 12 of a dead adult man and toddler in a burning truck near Sweet Home.

Daniel Chase Gatrell, 16, of 10 Coral Lane surrendered to authorities Monday night, according to John Rehrauer, spokesman for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

Gatrell and his cousin, Robert Todd Gatrell, 21, of 724 Shamburger in Little Rock, both are charged with two counts each of capital murder and one count of arson.

The older Gatrell was arrested on Jan. 21 and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday in Pulaski County District Court.

The two are charged in the murder of Michael Palmer, 28, of Hensley and Hannah Palmer-Dowdie, 1, of Little Rock.

Three Granite Mountain Quarry workers discovered the burning pickup with the bodies in it at about 5:30 p.m. Dec. 12 when one of them saw smoke on his lunch break and summoned the others to investigate a possible fire on Granite Mountain property.

Revy Rickard told Deputy Willard Brawley that he noticed two bodies in the burning pickup—one in the passenger seat, one in the bed of the truck.

A third Gatrell, Charles, 72, was arrested on a single charge of terroristic threatening Tuesday during a search of his property at 710 Shamburger Road.

Charles Gatrell told Pulaski County Sgt. Mike Blain that he hated him, that “as far as I’m concerned, you have a target on your forehead,” and then pointed his right index finger at Blain’s forehead, according to an arrest deposition report on file at the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.