'Truly Wonderful' Okla. Couple Is Allegedly Killed by Son in Home, Scene Staged as Burglary
An Oklahoma man is accused of murdering his parents and then staging the crime scene to make it look like armed intruders killed them.
A statement from Tulsa Police indicates that Bryan Spence — who lives in Stillwater — was charged on Monday with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of his parents, Joseph Gary Spence, 66, and Beverly Jane Spence, who was 65.
The couple was found shot to death inside their Tulsa home on Monday morning, according to police.
Officers went to check on the Spences that morning after finding their car abandoned nearby. The keys were in the ignition, the car was still running and two rifles were inside.
Investigators quickly learned that Bryan Spence owed several thousand dollars to his parents, and that arrangements had been made for the son to travel to Tulsa on Sunday to pay them back.
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Bryan denied being in Tulsa on Sunday when first questioned by police, but that video surveillance from the neighborhood contradicted that claim.
Jon Odom, pastor at Tulsa’s Cornerstone Church, told KTUL the couple were regulars for Sunday services.
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“They were committed, they were servant-hearted, they loved people,” Odom told the station.
Meanwhile, an unnamed woman who knew the victims called them “truly wonderful people,” while another labelled them “faithful servants.”
Odom added: “Joe and Beverly were the kind of people if you needed anything they would be there in a heartbeat.”
Bryan Spence, who remains in custody on $1 million bond, hasn’t entered pleas to the charges and does not have an attorney at this time who could comment on his behalf.