Rolla Teen on Trial in Fire, Death Ailing Brother Dead before Blaze Began

By Karen Testa Of The | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), June 29, 1997 | Go to article overview

Rolla Teen on Trial in Fire, Death Ailing Brother Dead before Blaze Began


Karen Testa Of The, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The badly burned teen-ager held out his scorched hands to show a police officer how he'd tried to save his wheelchair-bound brother from a fire that engulfed their mobile home.

"He told me . . . that he had tried to get his brother out," said Rolla Detective Richard Hanrahan as he recounted his emergency room discussion with Darian Seibert on Feb. 12. However, no one could have saved Jonathan Seibert from the fire; he was dead before it began.

Darian Seibert, 17, was ordered Friday to stand trial for first-degree murder and first-degree arson in a fire that prosecutors say was set to cover Jonathan's death due to neglect. Donald Rector, a troubled 17-year-old living with the Seiberts, was struck in the head and died in the blaze. Seibert's mother, Patrice Seibert, 39, and a friend, Derrick Roper, 21, face the same charges. No trial dates have been set. Prosecutor Pat King has yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty. Darian Seibert almost died from burns he suffered in the blaze. He spen t nearly two months in a hospital in St. Louis before he was released April 9 and sent to jail. His face badly blistered from burns and his hands covered in gloves, the teen-ager said nothing during Friday's hearing. Hanrahan testified he spoke briefly to Seibert the night of the fire as he was being treated in the emergency room. …

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