Criminal Justice

Retired lawyer, his wife are killed by package bomb sent to his home


Updated: A retired lawyer in Tennessee was killed and his wife was seriously injured Monday when a package sent to their home exploded.

Jon Setzer, 74, died in the blast and Marion Setzer, 72, was hospitalized in critical condition, the Associated Press, CNN, the Tennessean and the Lebanon Democrat report. Marion Setzer died of her injuries Wednesday at the hospital.

On Thursday, authorities arrested the couple’s son-in-law, Richard Parker, 49, who lived with his wife in the house next to the Setzers’ home, CNN and the Lebanon Democrat report. A special grand jury indicted Parker on charges of first-degree murder, premeditated first-degree murder and unlawful carry of a prohibited weapon.

Parker was convicted of arson in 1993, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Authorities didn’t explain why they charged Parker. Police believe the package was next to the mailbox and it wasn’t delivered by the post office. A note was found in the debris after the bomb exploded, but police didn’t disclose the contents.

Jon Setzer’s former law partner, George Cate Jr., told CNN that Setzer worked on general civil cases and handled living trusts. Other reports said Setzer was a bankruptcy lawyer.

Setzer began working at home because of health problems, but eventually gave up practice, Cate said.

Before the arrest, Cate told CNN he couldn’t imagine why anyone would target Setzer. He said Setzer was a pastor at “little country churches” and the couple had dedicated themselves to helping others. The Setzers’ son died at the age of 3 when he was attacked by a dog, Cate said, and they would visit other parents whose children died to share what they had gone through.

Updated Feb. 13 to note Marion Setzer’s death and other investigation news. Updated on Feb. 14 to note the arrest.

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