Charged with killing family members
rayden Denham, charged with killing four family members in 2016, is scheduled to go to trial in Platte County in December.
Denham, of Edgerton, faces a dozen charges in Platte County, including four felony charges of murder and armed criminal action. He also faces charges of felony arson, felony tampering, felony stealing a motor vehicle, and misdemeanor animal abuse.
Denham, now age 30, allegedly killed his grandparents Russell and Shirley Denham, their granddaughter Heather Ager, her three-month-old son, and the family dog on Feb. 19, 2016.
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd had previously announced his intention to seek the death penalty in the case. But this week Zahnd said the state has waived the death penalty in exchange for the defendant’s waiver of any mental health defense.
Denham is scheduled appear for a pre-trial conference on Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m. and a jury trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 7 at 9 a.m.
“I expect the trial to begin on Dec. 7 barring something unexpected,” Zahnd said this week.
He is in custody in the Platte County Jail where his bond is listed at $4 million cash-only.
Court documents allege when authorities responded to reports of a house fire on Buena Vista Road in Edgerton on Feb. 19, 2016, they found four victims shot with their bodies still burning outside of the house. Three of the victims were in the front yard, while Russell Denham’s body was found near an outbuilding with a gasoline container nearby. A family dog was also found shot and burning.
Two days later, Denham was found walking naked in northern Arizona. Denham was later returned to Missouri after being held in Arizona on suspicion of theft and displaying a fictitious license plate.