Judge Mark Blankenship ruled Tuesday that two teen murder suspects will stand trial as adults.
Anthony Joseph Zarro, 17, of Spring, Texas, and Christopher James Allen, 16, of Nashville, Tenn., were formally charged today for the murder of Paul and Margaret Brooks, which occured in late January, according to online Missouri court record.
Zarro and Allen were taken into custody by law enforcement after police were called to the Brooks residence on Trace Hallow Lane on Jan. 31, said Brian Landreth, an investigator with the Stone County Sheriff’s Department.
Zarro and Allen were at the Brookses' vacation home on Trace Hallow Lane after they ran away from the Lives Under Construction Ranch on Jan. 29.
When police began their investigation, they found the two bodies, blood stains inside and outside, weapons, and the smell of cleaning products hanging in the air, Landreth said. The cause of death was determined to be repeated stabbing and bludgeoning, according to court documents.
According to testimony by Landreth during the certification hearing, Zarro and Allen had tried to clean up the crime scene and moved the bodies, were in possession of credit cards and identification cards of the Brookses and were in clothes covered in blood spatter.
According to the probable cause statement, when deputies asked Zarro and Allen if there were other people in the house, Zarro said yes, "I killed them. I beat them with a baseball bat and stabbed them." Landreth said while a he was swabbing Zarro’s hands for DNA, Zarro asked why he was swabbing his hands. Landreth said Zarro responded to his answer saying, “Why? I already told you I killed them.’”
Zarro and Allen are facing identical charges, according to online Missouri court records. Zarro and Allen are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, a class A felony, three counts of armed criminal action, an unclassified felony, first-degree robbery, a class A felony, and first-degree burglary, a class B felony.
Since Zarro and Allen have been certified to be charged as adults, the prosecution will now be in hands of the Stone County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Selby.
At this point in time, there is no hearing scheduled for Zarro or Allen.
Zarro and Allen are both being held on $2 million cash or surety bonds.