Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Police Investigating Whether Stabbing in Breckenridge Hills Connected to Fatal Fire

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Police Investigating Whether Stabbing in Breckenridge Hills Connected to Fatal Fire

Article excerpt

BRECKENRIDGE HILLS * Brian Westfall woke up early Saturday to a man attacking him with a knife.

Westfall, who was critically injured in the attack, told police the name of the man who stabbed him in the chest. Later that day, that man came back with blood on his clothes and threatened to hurt Westfall's younger brother, William, and burn the house down.

Police arrested the man, Paul Hunott. But a county prosecutor said he wanted more evidence before he could press charges, and released him.

Hours later, a fire engulfed the Westfall home, killing William Westfall.

St. Louis County bomb and arson investigators say the fire is suspicious. The cause remains under investigation, but St. Louis County authorities say Hunott is a suspect in the fire.

Hunott was again arrested and was charged Sunday in the attack on Brian Westfall. He has not been charged in connection with the fire.

Police were first called to the 9400 block of Tudor Avenue about 1 a.m. Saturday after the knife attack on Brian Westfall, 53. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and put on life support. He had been stabbed multiple times in the chest but was able to identify Hunott as the attacker before losing consciousness, according to Breckenridge Hills police Detective Mitchell Armer.

On Monday, Armer said Brian Westfall was expected to survive. Armer didn't know the motivation for the stabbing. He said William Westfall was in another room during the stabbing and told police he didn't see what happened.

After Brian Westfall was taken to the hospital, Hunott allegedly returned to the house and threatened William Westfall, 51.

Hunott denied stabbing Brian Westfall, Armer said, but he was arrested. Armer sought assault charges against Hunott at the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office in Clayton about 10 a.m. Saturday, about nine hours after the stabbing. …

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