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A 72-year-old man faces three counts of murder and arson

Published On: Jun 22 2013 01:39:27 AM CDT
OROVILLE, Calif. -

Shocking new details revealed Friday in the deaths of three people and the burning of their bodies in Butte County.

Investigators arrested 72-year-old Donald Clark on Wednesday. He made his court appearance Friday afternoon.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey laid out all of the stunning details about this case.

The victims are identified, circumstantially by the sheriff's office, as 15-year-old Roland Lowe, his mother 46-year-old Colleen Lowe, and 17-year-old Richard Jones Jr.  They are all from Sacramento.

“Each of the victims were shot once with a shotgun and they were deceased before the fire occurred,” said Ramsey.

Ramsey revealed 72-year-old Donald Clark was familiar with Jones, who for the last three summers, stayed on his property with a friend.

Last year, the two apparently had a falling out.  Clark believing Jones was stealing equipment.  He was told never to return, but last week he did in a car reported stolen.

“He saw them come into his place and then he wanted them off and that's when the shooting occurred,” said Ramsey.

According to Ramsey, the murder weapon was a 12-gauge pump shot gun. He shot each victim once each.

Ramsey says once they were dead ,Clark put their bodies in a 2000 Acura T-L, driving up the Skyway to just north of Hupp Coutelenc Road near Magalia where he lit the car on fire.  

“He then took a bicycle he put in the car and rode back to his property,” said Ramsey.

Clark was in court Friday afternoon for his arraignment.  Family members of at least one of the victims were there too, but didn't want to be interviewed.

Meanwhile, Ramsey says the district attorney’s office is seeking life in prison without the possibility of parole or maybe even the death penalty.

“With a man that is 72 years old whether the death penalty is something that we want to pursue given the fact he probably be dead before the death penalty be imposed,” said Ramsey.

It’s not yet clear if Jones actually stole that Acura from Sacramento last week.  The sheriff's office also adds that they're still waiting official DNA confirmation of those victim's identities.

Clark meanwhile sits in the Butte County Jail with no bail.  He’s due back in court next Tuesday and we will be there to give you the latest.