Two arrested, one charged in Newton County arson, homicide

State News

NEWTON COUNTY, Ark. – The Newton County Sheriff’s Office investigating an arson that turned deadly on Saturday, leading to two arrests.

The two taken into custody are 34-year-old Steven Stepp and 69-year-old Charles Vernon Stepp, both of Fallsville. 

Steven has been formally charged with first-degree murder, arson and aggravated robbery, with Charles being questioned.

It all started with a house fire west of Fallsville, where firefighters located the body of a man inside the home.

According to the sheriff’s office, the victim is believed to be the homeowner.  His name has not been released, but an autopsy is being planned.

Through the investigation they were investigators were led to a home in Clarksville on Sunday.  Both suspects attempted to escape out the back door but were stopped and taken into custody.

Detectives were also concerned about two children that may have been at the residence at the time of the homicide who was missing, but both children have since been found.

Arkansas State Police, the 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force, The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Clarksville Police Department, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have also assisted with the investigation.

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