Trial Waived to Grand Jury, Dual Murder Details Discussed in Court

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Thomas Birl, the man accused of murdering Richmond couple Chris and Gracie Hager, appeared in court today for his preliminary hearing with Judge Earl Ray Neal presiding. The hearing was pushed back from yesterday, after previous judge Charles Hardin recused himself due to the fact that he knew the Richmond couple.

Detective Jason Friend described the scene to County Attorney Jennie Haymond, where the response from Richmond Police was described from the time they arrived through the four-hour long standoff that ensued. Detective Friend notified the court that Birl is in fact the suspect, and was identified as the shooter to investigators by his girlfriend of three years.

Friend added that the girlfriend was who had answered the door when the Hagers arrived at the Keystone Drive residence, and Birl allegedly then fired deadly shots at the couple before going back into the apartment for four hours, later starting a fire at the residence.

Birl’s attorney unsuccessfully attempted to reduce his bond, and the case has been waived to a grand jury. Stay tuned as WBONTV will keep you up to date on this high profile case.