Suspects Accused Of Killing Former Constable Appear In Court

The two suspects accused of killing former Johnson County Constable James Mollette were in court Wednesday for the first time. Police say Tommy Baldridge confessed to the crimes, but he told detectives Chris Fairchild was the man behind the murder.

Police testified that Tommy Baldridge said Fairchild told him they were going to sell James Mollette a rifle, but instead, it turned into murder. Police say the night they arrested the men, Baldridge told them everything that happened.

"He immediately broke down and started crying and began to tell me what occurred," Detective Mike Gobel said.

Detectives say Baldridge told them he waited outside while Fairchild went inside, and then he heard a gunshot and ran inside and found Mollette shot on the floor.

"At that time, Chris Fairchild put a small handgun he said to his head. Chris threatened to kill him if he did not take the hatchet and strike the victim with the hatchet," Detective Gobel said.

Baldridge told police he did it to save his own life, and then they made their getaway on Mollette's ATV and tossed the rifle, the same one police found days later.

"The weapon that was found is believed to be the weapon that killed Mr. Mollette," Detective Gobel said.

Police say Fairchild didn't know Baldridge had confessed, and he says he didn't kill anyone. The judge sent the case to the grand jury.

Both Baldridge and Fairchild are being held on a one million dollar cash bond. Police say they're keeping the two men apart because they're afraid Fairchild could harm Baldridge after finding out in court Wednesday that Baldridge told police what happened.


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