Chad A. Faulkner, 28, and Cody Faulkner, 30, both of Belle, last week in the Maries Circuit Court with Judge John Beger presiding, appeared without an attorney and entered pleas of guilty to felony …
Chad A. Faulkner, 28, and Cody Faulkner, 30, both of Belle, last week in the Maries Circuit Court with Judge John Beger presiding, appeared without an attorney and entered pleas of guilty to felony arson.
The brothers entered into an agreement with Ross Bush the special prosecutor and plead guilty to the class D felony charge that carries a range of punishment of up to seven years in prison. The brothers were dressed nicely for their court date with the circuit judge who read the probable cause statement detailing the Dec. 19, 2019 fire set at Chad Faulkner’s home at 1101 W. Parkview Drive, Belle and the mortgage being held by Mid-America Bank. The statement said the fire was set by Cody Faulkner while his brother was in Mexico.
Chad Faulkner also was charged with the class E felony of defrauding secured creditors, which was dismissed by the state. Each of the brothers was placed on probation with conditions for five years. If they violate the terms of their probation they can be sent to prison for up to seven years. The judge wished the brothers good luck.
Judge Beger accepted a statement from Chad Faulkner and told him he will provide the statement to the special prosecutor. He said Faulkner had arranged for someone else to set the fire and Faulkner admitted that he had done this.
Judge Beger asked Special Prosecutor Bush to submit a bill for his services.
Chad Faulkner’s signed statement to Judge Beger follows:
I come before you today to plea guilty to arson second degree. I realize my actions were wrong and there is nothing that can justify what I did. Due to financial hardships, loss of insurance for my child, medical expenses, and other unforeseen situations I felt I had no other options. I realize how big of mistake I have made, and I thank God that no one was hurt during this incident. I confess I did request my brother to burn my house for $5,000 while I was in Mexico. I did ask my brother to remove some deer mounts from the residence.
I would also like to point out the misconducts committed by Fire Marshal Joshua Hall. In the sworn probable cause statement Hall stated, and I quote, ‘Chad Faulkner filed an insurance claim with Freedom Mutual Insurance Company having direct knowledge that the fire was intentionally and knowingly set to recover an insurance settlement for the damage to the residence.’ This is a complete lie, and I never filed any claims with my insurance company. In fact, when I read this I contacted my insurance company on Jan. 6, 2020 and spoke with Agent Jay Kender and they informed me that a claim was filed because the Fire Marshal contacted them and they informed Hall that I had not filed a claim. Hall knew that I had not filed a claim, and he knowingly lied in a sworn affidavit to add an additional charge on me. I am being held accountable for my actions and taking responsibility for my actions, and I request the court and law enforcement hold Hall accountable for his actions.
Again, this does not excuse the crime I committed, and I take complete responsibility for my actions and I truly regret what I did.”