Special agents of the Arkansas State Police and deputies with the Pike County Sheriff's Department are investigating the murders of two women and a child. (Photo: Kevin Trager, THV 11)
Timothy Allen Hill (Photo: PCSO)
MURFREESBORO, Ark. (KTHV/AP) - A judge set a $1 million bond for a man accused in the Pike County slayings of his wife, mother-in-law, and his 9-year-old niece.
Timothy Allen Hill, 43, of Delight, made his first court appearance Monday after his arrest in the Saturday slayings at a home near Delight. He was taken into custody at the scene and is being held in connection with the murders as the investigation continues.
STORY: Child among 3 dead after Pike Co. shooting in Billstown
State police said 33-year-old Dana Hill and 54-year-old Julie Hartsfield were dead at the scene and 9-year-old Autumn Hartsfield was found mortally wounded and taken to a Hot Springs hospital by helicopter. She later died.
Police said they found Julie Hartsfield shot to death in a car, with her granddaughter in the back seat, fatally wounded. The driver's door was open and both rear doors were open, and police said they found multiple bullet holes in the passenger's side of the vehicle. They said most of the bullet holes were found in the center of the door where Julie Hartsfield was seated. Dana Hill was found dead inside the house.
Police said the shooting arose out of a domestic dispute over the couple getting a divorce which hadn't been finalized, and Hill admitted that he shot his wife and mother-in-law when he initially arrived.
Police added that before the shooting, Julie Hartsfield had come into the house, and the two did not fight or argue, but as Hartsfield was in the restroom, Hill went to a closet, took out his SKS rifle, went outside, and shot at the car his mother-in-law was sitting inside. They said he then went to his wife inside the home, pointed the rifle at her, and asked her "Why?" before the gun went off apparently unintentionally.
Police said Hill told them he was not aware that his niece was in the car at the time of the shooting.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)