Accused Killer: "I Tried to Save Them" from the Fire

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

A bizarre and tragic story keeps getting stranger. An Omaha man arrested last Thursday for murder and arson apparently tried to block the exits of the burning home.

Police say 30-year-old Terrance Hale threw a rock through the window of a north Omaha home and demanded money from the two elderly occupants. Police say when the couple refused he assaulted them, pushed furniture through the doors to prevent their escape, and then set the house on fire.

Raymond Vasholtz died from the fire and his wife Elizabeth was badly burned. She remains at a hospital in Lincoln.

In an interview from jail, Hale tells Channel 6 News that he didn't do any of it. He says he saw the fire and went into the house to help.

"So I opened up the door and there was this old lady behind it. I knew her. These are my neighbors. So, I pulled her out and went back in to save her husband and then somebody attacked me from the behind and the next thing you know I didn't know where I was I just went downstairs broke a window out and climbed out the window and called 911," Hale said.

Hale says he is studying to be a deacon in his church and would never hurt anyone. "I saved this lady's life and I tried to save her husband's life and this is how I get treated. This is why black people in the community won't stand up now, I don't know," Hale said.

Hale was ordered held without bond.

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