Crime

Ray County man is charged with setting 2013 fire that killed his two young sons

Randy Michael Garrison
Randy Michael Garrison

A Ray County man who, prosecutors say, abandoned his two young sons to die in a 2013 trailer fire and then lied about his efforts to save them is now charged with their deaths.

Randy Michael Garrison, 34, was charged Wednesday with two counts of second-degree murder, child abandonment and arson in the deaths of 1-year-old Ashton Garrison and 3-year-old Roger Garrison. The boys died in a trailer fire on Dec. 10, 2013, at 9634 Shach Creek Road in Orrick.

Garrison is being held on a $200,000 cash-only bond. No court date has been set.

Weeks after the fire, friends and former Excelsior Springs classmates raised money and donated household items to Garrison.

Authorities charged Garrison with child abandonment in March 2014. Garrison lied and gave inconsistent statements to investigators on what happened when the fire broke out and about his efforts to save his sons, according to the charges.

Investigators have not said how the fire started.

According to court records, Garrison said he returned home from work that morning and went to bed. He said he awoke to the sounds of his sons screaming from their bedroom and the small home engulfed in fire.

Garrison said he punched through internal walls and ripped the siding off the outside of the trailer. The court records state he also claimed that he struggled his way through flames and smoke to try to reach his boys, but he tripped over a bungee cord and fell facedown into the fire.

Court documents, however, indicate Garrison changed many parts of what happened over several days of questioning.

Days after the fire, Garrison told an officer that a woman who also lived at the trailer had threatened to kill him and his sons, court documents said. He then said he thought she had abducted his sons and they were not dead.

Medical personnel said Garrison did not have burns or carbon monoxide levels consistent with someone who had been in a fire as Garrison described. They noticed that Garrison was wearing a white T-shirt and it was still white when they later spoke to him.

A firefighter also said there was no damage to the outside of the trailer consistent with someone trying to force his way inside, according to court records.

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341, @GRicekcstar

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