9:43 PM
Eric J. Chappelle (mug shot HCSO)

A man from West Plains has been charged with murder and child abuse resulting in death after he allegedly drowned his four year-old son yesterday.

Court records say Eric J. Chappelle, 38, told investigators that he has been accused of molesting two female family members and couldn't live with the allegations hovering so he made the decision to kill his son Jacob, and then kill himself.

Chappelle's boss and his landlord went to his home after he didn't show up for work at a Propane company Monday (04-11-11) and the little boy wasn't taken to daycare. Shortly after the men arrived authorities responded to a 9-1-1 call of a child who wasn't breathing about 2 p.m. and found little Jacob dead on a love seat.
Eric and Jacob Chappelle live in this house (courtesy KY3)
Responding officers say Chappelle was babbling incoherently, had a butcher knife and was attempting to stab himself in the stomach.  After a struggle with one of his friends, Chappelle lunged at officers with the knife.  One of the officers pushed another officer out of the way and drew his service revolver.

After Chappelle challenged the officers again he was tasered and placed under arrest.  He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor wounds then booked into jail.

Jacob's mom Heather told KSPR that she hasn't seen the little boy since Chappelle took him from her at a gas station last month and custody had not been ruled on in the couples divorce.  Heather Chappelle says she left her husband and moved to Alabama because of domestic violence.

Heather and Jacob Chappelle (family photo - courtesy KSPR)

Reports of the alleged molestation were referred to the division of family services and a detective with the West Plains police department has been assigned to the case. No charges have been filed yet in connection to the alleged molestation.

Chappelle is also facing two counts of assault of a law enforcement officer and is being held in the Howell County jail on a $500,000 cash only bond.

Authorities will not comment on any wounds that may have been found on Jacob. An autopsy of the little boy is scheduled for Thursday in Columbia.


Anonymous said...

I am the mother of Jacob Chappelle. The sweet little Angel is greatly missed by his 2 sisters and myself.