Murder, Arson Suspect Says He's Innocent

Murder, Arson Suspect Says He's Innocent

By Jake Wasikowski. CREATED Feb 11, 2013

The man accused of robbing an elderly couple, trapping them inside their home which he set on fire says he didn’t do it.  He’s being charged with Murder, Arson, Burglary, and Attempted Robbery.

Thirty-year-old Terrance Hale says he was in the right place to help his neighbors, Elizabeth and Raymond Vasholz, whom he'd known for 5 years.  Now he says he's in the wrong place, behind bars.  Hale says he was on his way to the library when he saw a fire at the Vasholz home near 33rd & Martin Ave. last Thursday.  He says he got Elizabeth out and then tried to go in and find her husband, but was unsuccessful.

"I saved this lady's life, I tried to save her husband's life and this is how I get treated,” Hale explained. "It makes me feel mad and angry.  I can't do anything about it but prove my innocence.  These are my friends, and I stayed on the scene until police got there.  I'm the one that called 911."

Prosecutors say on February 7th, Hale broke into the Vasholz home, and demanded they give him money.  They said they didn't have any so he allegedly beat them, put furniture in front of the exits, and set the home on fire.  Raymond died of his injuries, his wife was badly burned.  Prosecutors say Elizabeth told them Hale did it the day of the fire, and when she was interviewed later by investigators

"She identified him as the person who was in the house and beating both of them, and then setting the fire," Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine explained.

Hale says while he was trying to find Raymond, someone shoved him from behind.  He didn't see who it was, but believes that person was responsible for the fire not himself.

"I hope they catch the person who started the fire, or get to the bottom of this.  I know I didn't do anything.  I tried to save somebody's life and this is how I get treated," Hale said.

A judge denied bond for Hale Monday afternoon at the Douglas County Jail.  If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.