Two men facing charges for attempted murder, arson in plot to kill father

Published: Oct. 20, 2023 at 3:45 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Two men are behind bars after an alleged plot to kill one of the man’s fathers in a house fire, court documents say.

Just after 6 a.m. Thursday, crews with the Fort Wayne Fire Department responded to a house fire on Raymond Avenue.

While on the scene, the Fort Wayne Police Department spoke with a witness who told police someone was inside the house, and another witness said a man wearing a hoodie was seen leaving in a car. Officers also spoke with the homeowner who stated his son, 20-year-old David Richards, and his friend, 18-year-old Asthon Shively, took his car without his permission and drove away from the scene.

According to court documents, after a brief foot pursuit, police took Richards into custody and later found Shively. Police say both “smelled strongly of smoke.” In an interview with police, Richards said Shively wanted to kill Richards’ father because he “felt sorry for David.” Shively said Richards had been yelling at his father to “stay out of his relationships.”

Richards went on to say that they purchased a lighter at the Circle K on Engle Rd. and that he knew Shively intended to start a fire to kill his father.

When they arrived at the house, Richards was inside as it was burning, and verified that his father was inside sleeping. Officials say he then left and did not attempt to call 911, taking his father’s keys and driving off.

Richards’ father says his son has made threats to kill him in the past and has found Facebook messages showing his son talking to others about killing him.

Police spoke with Shively, who said he started the fire because Richards “wouldn’t leave him alone about it” and he wanted to “be a good friend.” He told police as the two went inside, Richards became more and more adamant that his father needed to be killed.

Documents say Shively told police Richards then got a shovel and said he was going to go kill his father before giving the shovel to Shively. Shively said Richards let the dog outside so it wouldn’t be hurt before collecting items like a PlayStation 5, video games, car keys, and his father’s wallet.

Shively said as they were leaving, he saw Richards’ father trying to put out the fire.

Both Richards and Shively are facing charges of arson and burglary, along with attempted murder and auto theft. They also have a court hearing set for Oct. 25.

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