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Adair County Upgrades Charges in Murder

Posted: Jan 15, 2013 2:33 PM by Associated Press

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KIRKSVILLE (AP) - The Adair County prosecutor has upgraded charges against a 49-year-old Kirksville man accused of stabbing a 74-year-old man to death and dismembering the body.

Paul Potter was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder, arson, tampering, armed criminal action and burglary and is being held on $1 million bond. Potter's public defender didn't return a call Tuesday seeking comment. Potter was initially charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering.

Potter's accused of fatally stabbing Willis Edward Meredith on Jan. 6. Adair County Coroner Brian Noe says Meredith died of multiple stab wounds and his body was also burned. Meredith also went by the name of Jake Steadman, but Noe says that's not his real name.

Potter's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in Kirksville, about 200 miles northeast of St. Louis.

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