Archive for Sunday, September 2, 2001

Suspects face murder charges in explosion

Apartment blast could warrant additional counts of arson, robbery

September 2, 2001


— Two Topeka men have been charged with murder in the Emporia apartment explosion that killed a woman and her 13-month-old son.

Wallace L. Dixon III, 31, and Ethan M. Griffin, 26, were both charged Saturday morning with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Dana Hudson, 19, who was from the Topeka area, and her son, Gabriel.

Seven other people were injured in the explosion at the Eastgate Plaza complex July 29.

Griffin, who had been sought by authorities since mid-August, was arrested Friday in Kansas City, Mo. He was expected to be transferred to the Lyon County Jail sometime Saturday after he waived extradition, said Mary Tritsch, spokeswoman for the Kansas Attorney General's Office.

Dixon has been in federal custody since Aug. 11 on unrelated charges.

The murder charges carry mandatory sentences of life in prison if convicted, according to the Kansas Attorney General's Office. Both suspects were being held on $1 million bond.

Investigators have said Griffin, Dixon and two other men burglarized an apartment at the complex about seven hours before the building exploded.

The state claims Dixon and Griffin caused the explosion, but did not say how. According to authorities, the two other men were not directly involved in the explosion.

Dixon and Griffin also are charged with one count of aggravated arson, six counts of aggravated burglary, two counts of burglary, one count of theft and one count of criminal damage to property. Dixon also faces a charge of aggravated assault.

The explosion occurred about 9 a.m. July 29, in the same neighborhood where a home was leveled in an explosion on Aug. 1, 2000.

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