Two brothers in New York are facing second-degree murder charges after the men allegedly saved their methamphetamine equipment from a fire, but left their 82-year-old grandmother inside the home, prosecutors said Friday.
The charge against Jarrett W. Gause, 33, of Bath, was issued by a Steuben County grand jury Friday, The Leader of Corning reported. His brother, Justin L. Gause, 21, of Corning, had been facing a manslaughter charge, but it was upgraded to second-degree murder by the grand jury the same day, the newspaper reported.
The charges stem from the May 14, 2019, death of the men's grandmother, Gladys Ann Willow, 82. According to New York State Police, Willow died of injuries she suffered while trapped inside the Riverside building, the Star-Gazette of Elmira reported.
According to New York State Police investigator Christopher Wilkinson, the fire allegedly was ignited during the manufacture of meth in the home, The Leader reported.
According to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker, the men removed their equipment from the home and went to buy cigarettes, WETM reported. They did not report the fire, the television station reported.
Willow was rushed to an area hospital, where she was declared dead shortly after her admission, The Leader reported.
The brothers were also charged with reckless endangerment charges and tampering with evidence, WETM reported.
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