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Bentonville man held without bond in connection with murder



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A woman told police her roommate confessed to killing a man, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Thursday.

Glenn Thatcher, 44, of Bentonville was arrested in connection with capital murder. Prosecutors haven’t filed a formal charge against him.

Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green ordered Thatcher be held without bond in the Benton County Jail in connection with Robert Blau’s killing. Thatcher’s arraignment is scheduled for March 1.

Chelsea Yates went Monday to the Bentonville Police Department and told police Thatcher, her roommate, came home and told her he had shot and killed Blau, according to the affidavit. Yates said Thatcher brandished the pistol he claimed was used in the murder, according to the affidavit.

Bentonville police provided the information to Benton County Sheriff’s Office deputies, who went to 20147 U.S. 62 in Gateway and found Blau’s body, according to the affidavit.

Medics came to the scene and confirmed Blau was dead. They found a small bullet wound to Blau’s chest, according to the affidavit.

Steve Baker, Yates’ boyfriend, told police he overheard Thatcher tell Yates he did a bad thing, according to the affidavit. Baker said he also saw Thatcher pull a gun from his jacket, the affidavit states.

Yates’ 11-year-old daughter was present and also told police she saw Thatcher with the gun, according to the affidavit. The girl said she had seen Blau at the apartment earlier, the affidavit states.

Peter Smith, one of Thatcher’s friends, reported his suspicion Thatcher had stolen his silver 40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, according to the affidavit. Smith said he didn’t report the theft to police because he wanted to talk to Thatcher about it, the affidavit states.

Thatcher was interviewed by Keshia Guyll, a detective with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, but much of his interview was redacted from the affidavit.

Scott Parks, Thatcher’s attorney, requested the affidavit be sealed, and the judge denied the request, but did allow the affidavit to be redacted.

Thatcher said he was using methamphetamine with Blau and told Blau he was going to meet him at the U.S. 62 address, according to the affidavit.

Thatcher claimed Blau’s phone was bugged, and he threw it out the window when he was driving back to Rogers, according to the affidavit. Deputies were able to recover the gun and phone, according to the affidavit.

Thatcher had his initial court appearance Thursday.

Jay Saxton, Benton County’s chief public defender, told the judge his office couldn’t represent Thatcher because it represented Blau in several cases and also represents Blau’s brother.

Parks, a lawyer with the Arkansas Public Defenders Commission, represented Thatcher at the hearing.

Thatcher said his only source of income is from a family business in Tampa, Fla. He told the judge he didn’t own any real estate.

“While his family may have assets, he does not,” Parks said.

The judge found Thatcher is indigent, which means the Public Defenders Commission will be financially responsible for his defense.

Joshua Robinson, deputy prosecutor, told the judge prosecutors have a strong case against Thatcher with a high likelihood of conviction. Robinson said Thatcher has out-of-state connections, and Robinson requested Thatcher be held without bond.

Parks said Thatcher has a local address and cooperated with law enforcement. He said Thatcher has only been convicted of driving while intoxicated.

The judge ordered Thatcher to be held without bond.