LEBANON, Mo. – Missouri prosecutors charged three people with murder Tuesday after a wild brawl sparked by text messages left a teen brutally beaten to death with a baseball bat and another critically injured.
Zachary Jones, 17, died Monday from multiple fractures to the skull. On Tuesday, police charged Jerry Broyles, 25, and Terry Dunkin, 32, with first-degree murder and Terry's wife, Kimberly Dunkin, 36, with second-degree murder.
The attack happened late Sunday night in Atchley Park in Lebanon, Mo., after Jones and another teen, Matthew Bankston, sent text messages to a girl identified as Broyles' girlfriend, FOX affiliate KSFX-TV reported.
According to police statements, the three suspects went to the park allegedly armed with metal pipes and bats.
When they met, Broyles and his brother started hitting the two younger men with bats and a metal rod, according to the probable cause statement from police.
Bankston is in critical but stable condition at a local hospital.
Laclede County prosecutors charged the trio on Tuesday morning. Broyles and Terry Dunkin have the same mother, police said in a probable cause statement.
Prosecutors said all three people charged were in jail. Broyles and Terry Dunkin were denied bond, and Kimberly Dunkin was being held in lieu of a $250,000 cash bond.
Lebanon, a small manufacturing town of about 13,000 people on Interstate 44 in southern Missouri, has had one previous murder this year after none in 2006.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.