Florissant man pleads guilty in arson fire that killed his son

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Steven Henry Kemper, age 54 and a former resident of Florissant, has plead guilty in St. Louis federal court to one count of aiding and abetting the use of fire to commit mail fraud.

The plea was from an arson case that occurred in Florissant, Missouri back in November 16, 2001, when Kemper with the help of his wife, Sandra Kay Bryant set fire to their home at 6682 Champana Lane in Florissant.

The abetting and aiding charge arose from a state of Missouri charge, in which Kempers wife, Sandra Kay Bryant was charged with felony murder by arson.  The fire set, caused the death their son, 15-year-old Zachariah Andrew Kemper, who was trapped the basement of the home.

Because of a mistrial declared during Sandra Bryant’s trial, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled the she could not be retired, due to “double jeopardy”.

Federal prosecutors then filed charges against the couple, for aiding and abetting the use of fire to commit mail fraud in count II of the indictment.  Sandra Bryant faces a separate charge in count I of the indictment.

No trial date has been set; charges remain pending against Sandra Bryant.

Sentencing has been set for October 3, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.  Kemper faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life imprisonment for his crime.