WEST PLAINS --The date of the preliminary hearing for two West Plains brothers, Jonnathan Graven, 31, and Jared "Skip" Graven, 23, charged with murder, has been set for Feb. 6, at 9 a.m. in the Howell County Associate Circuit Court.
The brothers also face parole violations and will be headed back to state prison before their next hearing date.
They did not appear in court Nov. 24, when Judge Don Henry set the preliminary hearing date. They were represented by Howell County Public Defender Laury Gries. Howell County Public Defender Donna Anthony will be the Graven's legal council for the preliminary hearing and other court preceedings.
The brothers each face charges of first-degree murder, second degree arson, tampering with a motor vehicle and abandonment of a corpse.
The body of Rickey J. Johnson, 22, of Pottersville was found Nov. 15 in the back seat of his car in a burning garage off K Highway, about seven miles west of West Plains
Law officials believe that Johnson was beaten and was dead before he was placed in the car and torched. They also said they believe he was killed in a fight over methamphetamine.
Officers believe Johnson died at the Graven's brothers home at 3823 County Road 6340.
The Graven brothers were taken into custody Nov. 19 at about 8:30 a.m. at the Tally Ho Motel on Business 63 in Thayer. There were two other people in the room with them, a male and a female, whose names were not released, because they are not suspects in the crimes. The brothers were taken to the Thayer Police Station where they were held until Howell County and Missouri Highway Patrol Troop G officers arrived to transport them back to West Plains.