Murder charge filed for Florissant arson suspect

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Bobbie Copass

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s charged a Florissant man with murder for allegedly starting a house fire that claimed the life of a 16-year-old.

According to Florissant police, the fire started before 3 a.m. on Friday, January 17, in the 1900 block of Curtis Court.

When officers arrived at the scene, the home was fully engulfed in flames. They learned a juvenile was still in the home but could not get inside to the boy. Firefighters arrived and were successful in removing the boy from the home.

The juvenile, identified as Dustin Baggett, later died at the hospital from burns and smoke inhalation. Dustin’s family said he had autism. Dustin’s kidneys and liver were donated to save the lives of others. A GoFundMe has been created to help the family with funeral expenses.

Police arrested 39-year-old Bobby Copass. He was initially charged with first-degree arson.

Copass had been staying with Dustin Baggett’s family at the home. He is apparently related to Dustin’s stepfather and there had been a falling out prior to the fire.

After Baggett’s death, prosecutors sought additional charges for Copass.

On Tuesday, Copass was charged with second-degree murder.

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