Stanford's preliminary hearing set for July 14 - - Jackson, MS

Stanford's preliminary hearing set for July 14

BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Zachary Stanford, the 22-year-old man accused of shooting and stabbing his grandparents to death, faced a judge Thursday and remains behind bars in Rankin County charged with two counts of capital murder and no bond.

People who knew Stanford and his grandparents, the victims Robert and Peggy Faries, are still in shock about the gruesome killings.

"Didn't strike me as someone who would do something they are accusing him of doing," said Keegan Westover. "He was always a happy kid."

"I mean he seemed like a pretty normal guy," added Zach Ortgies.

Friends of twenty-two year old Zachary Stanford say they are shocked.

"When you meet Zach and you interact with him, he doesn't strike you as one of those kids that would do something like that," added Westover. "It's just very surprising."

The victims were found by their close friend Dan Windham. He said when he walked up on the crime scene it was like a bad dream.

"Well, I just knew something was wrong. I just knew something was wrong," said Windham. "And when I went to get the son I knew that one of the bedroom windows was tore open so that confirmed that was I was afraid of that someone had broken in."

It was revealed during the initial court appearance that the state believes Stanford committed the murders while burglarizing the home. 

"The state's theory of the case is that he broke in with the intent to assault specifically his grandfather," said District Attorney Michael Guest. "Then once inside the residence there was an altercation between he and his grandfather which his grandfather was killed and then his grandmother was awoken by that and she was killed as well."

Stanford showed no emotion as he saw his family visibly upset. Those who were closest to the Faries said it's going to be a huge void with them gone. 

"The way I get through it is I know they are in a better place," said Windham. "I know they are both in Heaven and they are both in Heaven together."

No motive has been determined at this time. Judge McDaniel set a preliminary hearing for July 14 where more of the case will be outlined and the District Attorney said we will learn more about the statement Stanford provided investigators.

Copyright 2015 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly