Two New York brothers are facing second-degree murder charges for allegedly saving their methamphetamine equipment from a house fire, but leaving their 82-year-old grandmother to die, according to prosecutors.
Bath resident Jarret W. Gause, 33, was charged Oct. 10 by a Steuben County grand jury, The Leader reported. His brother, Corning resident Justin L. Gause, 21, had already been facing a manslaughter charge, but the grand jury upgraded it to second-degree murder that same day, The Leader reported.
The Gause’s grandmother, Gladys Ann Willow, died from injuries she obtained in the May house fire, New York State Police said. Investigators later determined that the fire had been ignited during the production of methamphetamine inside the home.
Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker said the brothers removed the drug paraphernalia from the home and went to buy cigarettes, but did not report the fire, WETM reported. Their grandmother was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to the station.
Jarrett Gause was arrested after the indictments were unsealed. He is now in custody at the Steuben County Jail. Justin Gause was originally booked into the jail but is now free on bail, state police said.
The brothers are also facing charges of reckless endangerment, evidence tampering, falsifying business records, and second-degree assault.
Baker told The Leader that the brothers will appear again in Steuben County Court later this month to complete their arrangements. It was unclear whether the brothers' have an attorney to speak on their behalf.