Charges upgraded to capital murder in shooting case
Facing upgraded charges of capital murder, a 29-year-old Benton man accused of fatally shooting his brother and sister-in-law was denied bond in Saline County District Court on Friday.
Appearing before Saline County District Judge Josh Newton, Luke Talbert listened to the charges, but made no comment on the upgrades. Originally charged with two counts of first-degree murder, the charges were upgraded based on statements from Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Walton.
According to Walton, Talbert allegedly shot his brother, Mark Talbert, 26, and sister-in-law, Maegan Talbert, 23, with a pumpaction shotgun Tuesday night in Benton. Walton also stated that Luke Talbert left the room to acquire the weapon before returning to fire both shots.
Benton Police Department responded to a Freeman Street residence at approximately 11:30 p.m. Tuesday for a disturbance. Upon arrival, officers located Mark Talbert and Maegan Talbert deceased from apparent gunshot wounds.
Luke Talbert was arrested without incident, according to Krista Petty, spokesperson for BNPD. He was booked into the Saline County Detention Center at 9:44 p.m. Wednesday, according to the inmate roster.
Following the incident, Maegan’s workplace — State Beauty Supply — released the following statement via social media regarding Maegan’s passing:
“We are profoundly saddened by the death of Maegan Talbert, a member of our State Beauty Supply family, and her husband, Mark. Maegan made an immediate positive impact when she joined our team and worked mainly at our store in her hometown of Benton. We know many of you have enjoyed getting to know Maegan over the last year and a half and she will be greatly missed.
“We appreciate that so many of you have reached out and sent messages and we will pass your kind words about Maegan on to her loved ones.”
As of press time, funeral arrangements for the victims had not been released.
Luke Talbert’s next court date is set for Dec. 17, in Newton’s courtroom.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Anonymous tips may also be sent via text to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the message, via the official Benton Police Department app available on itunes and Google Play or at www.crimereports.com.