Poplar Bluff, MO (STL.News) – Friday, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt applauded the work done by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and members of the Attorney General’s Office in obtaining guilty verdicts in a quadruple homicide case in Ripley County, Missouri. The Honorable Michael Pritchett, a judge from Butler County, decided, after a bench trial that concluded last week, to convict Keith Boyles of four counts of murder and four counts of armed criminal action. Boyles, along with David Youngblood, David’s wife, Melissa and their daughter Chantale, was involved in four murders in June and July of 2010.
“My most important duty as Missouri’s Attorney General is to protect Missourians and ensure that violent crime offenders are prosecuted and put behind bars,” said Schmitt. “I’m incredibly proud of the work of my Assistant Attorneys General, investigators and victim advocates and law enforcement in this case. Violent crime rips apart communities, neighborhoods, and families, and this case further shows that the Attorney General’s Office is continually working to bring justice to families and taking measures to prevent violent crime in the future.”
In 2010, David Youngblood, his wife Melissa, and their daughters Chantale and Stysha, and son Dakota lived in Ripley County. At the time of the murders, Boyles was dating Chantale and living in the Youngblood home.
David developed a grandiose plan to move his family to a non-extraditable country, and finance the move by kidnapping the president of a local bank in order to force open the vault. To complete his plan, David decided to “test” Boyles and Chantale to see if they would successfully carry out violent crimes by murdering David’s aunt and uncle. In the first “test run,” Boyles and Chantale were tasked with murdering Loyd and Irene Piatt on June 23, 2010 and burning down their house. At the trial last week, the State presented evidence that Boyles shot and killed both Mr. and Mrs. Piatt.
Two and half weeks later, on July 10, 2010, Boyles and David Youngblood murdered Edgar Atkinson and Bonnie Chase and burned their house down during a second “test run” planned by David. Atkinson and Chase were an elderly couple that David and Melissa knew previously. At the trial last week, the State presented evidence that Boyles shot and killed Mr. Atkinson and that David Youngblood shot and killed Ms. Chase.
In 2012, David Youngblood pleaded guilty to four counts of first degree murder and was sentenced to four consecutive terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In 2013, Melissa was convicted after a jury found her guilty of two counts of first degree murder. Melissa was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In 2013, Chantale pled guilty to four counts of murder in the second degree for her more limited role in these murders. Chantale will be sentenced on April 18, 2019.
Judge Pritchett will sentence Boyles in May. The only possible punishment for each count of murder in the first degree is life imprisonment without the possibility of probation or parole. The punishment for each count of armed criminal action is a term of imprisonment of not less than three years.