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Arkansas Man Arrested In Triple Murder Of Family, Abduction Of Infant

Hunter Chenoweth, who is accused of killing three relatives and kidnapping a young child, was arrested after “provoking” state troopers with a rifle.

By Dorian Geiger

An Arkansas man who allegedly murdered three family members and kidnapped an infant was arrested by state troopers this week.

Hunter Chenoweth, 22, was taken into custody on Feb. 23, and then confessed to the triple killing of his sister, mother, and stepfather after a family dispute, authorities said.

Tammie Lynn Chenoweth, 51, James Stanley McGhee, 59, and Cheyene Chenoweth, 26 were found dead at a home southwest of Huntsville on Tuesday, according to Arkansas State Police.

Hunter Chenoweth was later arrested by troopers, who found a child who’d disappeared from the scene of the triple homicide on Tuesday in the vehicle with him.

Hunter Chenoweth admitted to opening fire on his mother, Tammie Lynn Chenoweth, after claiming she pointed a gun at him amid a heated argument, Arkansas Online reported. Investigators said he later stabbed his sister, Cheyenne, to death.

Hunter Chenoweth Pd

McGhee, who was reportedly at work during the two killings, came home to find his stepson barricaded inside the home. He “breached the front door," as an incident report stated, and was later shot several times by his stepson. 

The 22-year-old allegedly then fled the home with the infant child.

He was taken into custody later that evening during a traffic stop of a van that matched the description of a vehicle leaving the scene of the slayings. Chenoweth, who emerged from the passenger side of the vehicle armed with a rifle, was handcuffed after “provoking” troopers.

The child, who authorities said is under one-year-old, was unharmed in the incident. The infant has since been placed in protective custody.

The van’s driver was identified as a 25-year-old-DeQueen woman. She was questioned and released by law enforcement.

Autopsies of the three victims are pending. Authorities declined to release further information on the triple killing. 

Hunter Chenoweth now faces three capital murder charges, prosecutors said.

“These are rare, so it's something that's going to be shocking every time it happens — and I mean it is — especially in a smaller, kind of a close-knit community, it's always going to be a shock," Madison County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Durrett said.

Cheyenne Chenoweth is the daughter of Tammie Lynn Chenoweth, according to the family’s church in Fayetteville. 

Hunter Chenoweth has a history of domestic violence-related arrests, according to Arkansas Online. He was arrested in February 2020 on second-degree domestic battering and third-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

It’s unclear if he has retained a defense lawyer.

Bill Sadler of the Arkansas State Police declined to comment on the case on Friday when contacted by Oxygen.com.

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