4:32 PM
Jesse James (l) and Wyatt Earp Bagley

The coroner in Texas County has called for an inquest into the drowning deaths of two brothers from Licking last August.

Seven-year-old Jesse James Bagley and his brother, four-year-old Wyatt Earp Bagley, were found dead in the Big Piney River that runs behind the family's rented home.

A coroner's inquest is conducted in a trial like setting where the county coroner calls witnesses and is in charge of conducting the inquest.

In this case, Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker will seat six Texas county residents to evidence in the case. Those people will decide if the drownings were an accident, negligence, or child endangerment for instance.

Texas County prosecutor Mike Anderson could file charges against the children's mother, Jennifer Bagley, the grandparents, or all of them who were home at the time the boys went missing depending on the outcome of the inquest.

Back in August, Texas County Sheriff Carl Watson said that the two brothers and their little sister, 3 year-old Belle Starr, were unsupervised and playing near the river when the boy's somehow got swept away.

The little girl came home soaking wet and told the grown ups that her brothers were in the river, "At the least they were negligent," Watson said at the time.
Searchers combed the area around the house and the river for over twelve hours before the boys were located about 7 a.m. in the river.

The inquest is scheduled for Friday, March 12 at 9:00 a.m.