Chad A. Faulkner, 28, and Cody Faulkner, 30, of Belle, both charged with arson, were arrested Dec. 26 and released Dec. 27 on their own recognizance following a Dec. 19 fire at the younger …
Chad A. Faulkner, 28, and Cody Faulkner, 30, of Belle, both charged with arson, were arrested Dec. 26 and released Dec. 27 on their own recognizance following a Dec. 19 fire at the younger Faulkner’s house.
“This arrest stems from a fire at the 1100 block of Parkview Drive,” said Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman in a Facebook post.
The brothers were arrested by the Maries County Sheriff’s Department after warrants submitted by the State Fire Marshal’s Office prompted them to turn themselves in.
Both Faulkner brothers are charged with arson in the second degree — a class D felony. Chad Faulkner was also charged with defrauding secured creditors — a class E felony, according to Missouri Case.net.
Heitman confirmed the arrest and charges filed by Maries County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony “Tony” Skouby after receiving the affidavit from the State Fire Marshal. The warrants gave both men a $5,000 bond each, which they did not have to pay, after the judge ordered their release Friday.
“Because of the new Supreme Court ruling, not anything else,” Heitman said when asked about their release.
Persons qualified to be released on “own recognizance” must be a low flight risk.
“If they are not a flight risk, we can’t hold them,” Heitman said, adding that these men qualify, “Because they turned themselves in and attempted to turn themselves in several times.”
Heitman said the case is nearly cut and dried, as most of the arson incident was captured on a surveillance camera nearby.
The State Fire Marshal received a tip that something was going to happen,” Heitman explained. “The investigation has captured video evidence of Cody initially starting the fire, the fire extinguishing itself, and Cody’s dad and uncle came back and restarted the fire.”
This took place while Chad Faulkner and his then-fiance, Hanna Perez, were vacationing in Mexico. They would marry on Dec. 23 after their return.
Heitman said the reasons for the attempted arson was a desperate attempt to get out of debt.
“I know Chad overextended himself with the TV show (Heavy Hitters) and the amount of money that he put into that show put him in a financial hardship,” Heitman said. “The debt was later compiled with medical debt from his son’s illness.”
The Faulkner brothers were both part of the “Belle Boys” in the TV show “Heavy Hitters” that was filmed in Owensville and Belle in 2018 but has yet to air. Chad Faulkner ran his car “Psycho” and Cody Faulkner ran his car “Insane.” The younger brother won first place two of the six heats.
Perez was issued a summons filed by Judge Kerry G. Rowden. Filed Dec. 26 and served the following day, she is also charged with arson in the second degree — a class D felony.
“The case against Hanna is weak and may be dismissed, but that will be up to the judge and prosecutor,” Heitman said.
According to the probable cause statement, when the brothers spoke at Chad Faulkner’s home about the plan, Hanna was home.
Heitman is unsure why the father and uncle have not been charged as of Monday afternoon.
“I anticipate Chad’s father and uncle to be charged and arrested soon,” Heitman said.
The three charged are expected to appear in Rowden’s Maries County 25th Circuit Court Jan. 14 for a preliminary hearing.
Heitman said in his Dec. 26 Facebook post that additional arrests are expected at a later date, and added a statement about his connection to the Faulkner family — especially Chad Faulker, who resigned Dec. 22 as a Maries County Sheriff’s Department volunteer.
“I have been a long-time friend of Chad,” Heitman began. “With him being a former employee, I am truly disappointed in his actions. I fully support the Fire Marshal’s investigation and due to my relationship with the family, my office has stayed out of the investigation. I expect all parties involved to be held accountable for their actions.”
Monday afternoon, he said the following, “I realize people often make mistakes when they are down on their luck, however that does not excuse Chad’s actions. Even though we are friends, and he is a former employee of mine, I will still make sure he is held accountable for his actions.”
Heitman added that he respects the fact that the Faulkner brothers turned themselves in and plan to take responsibility for their actions.
“I believe the evidence against Chad and Cody is strong and no one is denying the fact that this was planned out,” Heitman said.