Defendants in Ripley County murders waive preliminary hearings

Loyd and Irene Piatt
Loyd and Irene Piatt
Bonnie Chase and Edgar Atkinson
Bonnie Chase and Edgar Atkinson

RIPLEY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - They stand accused of murdering four senior citizens and burning down their homes.

On Tuesday David Youngblood, his daughter Chantale Youngblood, and Keith Boyles went before a judge in Ripley County.

They are accused of killing Loyd and Irene Piatt in June of 2010, and Edgar Atkinson and Bonnie Chase in July of 2010.

Each defendant waived his/her rights to a preliminary hearing. Their cases will now head to the Circuit Court level where the process starts all over again.

They made their way to the Ripley County Courthouse from three different directions.

Keith Boyles arrived first. He is charged with four counts of first degree murder and four counts of armed criminal action.

Chantale Youngblood faces the same charges, as well as her father David Youngblood.

"It's been almost two years, will be two years the end of June since the Piatt's death, said Imetta Farrar. "It's taken forever."

Imetta Farrar, a relative of Loyd and Irene Piatt, wants justice. She is growing weary with the system.

"I want to get it behind us, and go on with the rest of everything," said Farrar.

It all began with the Piatt's back in June of 2010. They were found dead in their burned home. No one suspected foul play until a month later, when Edgar Atkinson and Bonnie Chase were also found dead in their burned home.

The Piatt's bodies were exhumed, and their deaths ruled homicides.

Irene's nephew David Youngblood, his daughter Chantale and Keith Boyles are all charged in connection with both cases.

Melissa Youngblood, David's wife, is charged in connection with the Atkinson/Chase murders. She goes on trial next month in Shannon County.

"One thing about it, I really believe we have the right people and one of these days they'll answer to their deeds," said Ripley County Sheriff Ron Barnett.

No comment on camera today from the defendants, or their family members in the courtroom.

David Youngblood, Chantale Youngblood, and Keith Boyles will be arraigned next month.

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