The case of a man accused of killing a family of four and setting their house on fire will go to the grand jury.
Investigators have not released a motive in the case, but Wednesday we learned more about what happened at Pascasio Pacheco's preliminary hearing. Pacheco prefers not to go by his last name —Arellano.
Kentucky State Police later discovered the family who died in their home in November were Pacheco's relatives. Commonwealth Attorney Mark Blankenship said without a doubt he would try to bring the death penalty against Pacheco. Blankenship said there was a lot of evidence, but he said one of the most compelling reasons was how investigators believe the two young children died.
The commonwealth's witness, Kentucky State Police Detective Trey Green, says the mother, Marisol Hernandez, was the first victim. She was shot in the side of the head. The father, Bulmaro Arellano, was the second victim. Green says Arellano tried to fight off his killer. They found his body with defensive knife cuts and gunshot wounds from two different guns.
“The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the right side of his head,” Green says.
Green testified that the two young children were the last alive in the burning home. He says investigators believe they both died of smoke inhalation. Green says they found that the 5-year-old’s throat was cut. He was found under a bed that Kentucky State Police believe was intentionally lit on fire.
“The five year old boy's throat (wound), the medical examiner advised, was not deep enough to cause his death.” Green says.
The 13-month-old daughter was found laying on her back beside the same bed. “Her socks had soot on the bottom...indicating to me she had been walking on the floor, it seems," Green said.
Prosecutors are asking for the ultimate punishment. “This is the most heinous crime that's ever occurred in Calloway County,” Blankenship says.
Pacheco’s family said they were not ready to speak about what happened, but Pacheco will stay in jail. The judge said he did not qualify for bond because he is a flight risk.
The judge decided he was a flight risk because family members of Pacheco came forward to Kentucky State Police with a recording. Green testified the recording was Pacheco speaking Spanish, talking about the crime and about fleeing the country.
Pacheco faces multiple charges including four counts of murder, burglary, arson, and tampering with evidence. A grand jury will hear his case Dec. 18. He will then be arraigned after the grand jury's decision Jan. 5.