Charges up­graded to cap­i­tal mur­der in shoot­ing case

The Saline Courier Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Dana Guthrie [email protected]­ton­courier.com

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.

Tal­bert

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