First-degree murder and first degree arson charges have been filed in the homicide death of Harold Stout, 79, an Idabel resident who was found dead in his home, partially burned, after a reported fire last week.
According to District Court records, the suspect in the case is Stout’s brother, Mark Tildan Stout, 63, of Idabel.
OSBI Special Agent Chad Dansby stated in the affidavit that the Idabel Police Department responded to the scene of a reported house fire in the 700 block of NW 9th Street on July 13.
Mark Stout, it was noted, reported the fire to emergency personnel.
At the scene of the fire, the victim was found on a bed in the upstairs bedroom. Dansby noted that the bed had been burned and an “obvious accelerant trail” was located on the floor leading from the bed to the entrance of the room.
A small fire was still smoldering just outside the bedroom at the top of the home’s staircase and the remains of another small fire were evident in the downstairs kitchen doorway.
Dansby noted that IPD Chief John Martin requested the OSBI’s assistance with the case. Martin told the newspaper on Friday that the IPD was cooperating with the OSBI and other state agencies in the investigation.
During the investigation, Dansby interviewed a witness who said that Harold Stout’s brother, Mark Stout, had said that he had killed his brother on July 12. The witness said that Mark Stout had been angry that he “had to give his brother half his money” and expressed disapproval of the victim’s spending habits. He also reportedly said that the victim “didn’t appreciate him.”
The witness told Dansby that Mark Stout said that he had choked his brother while the victim had been sleeping and that he intended to burn the house down as “his fingerprints were there.”
On July 14, Dansby and IPD Captain Johnny Voss interviewed Mark Stout at the Idabel Police Department. According to Dansby, Mark Stout admitted that he had had an altercation with the victim, claiming that Harold Stout had “came at him.” The suspect said he had choked the victim until he believed him to be dead.
Mark Stout, Dansby noted, lived in a camper inside a shop building on the victim’s property.
Law enforcement officers searched the suspect’s residence and the shop and found a partially burned wallet belonging to the victim inside a large metal wood stove.
If convicted of murder in the first degree, Mark Stout could face life imprisonment, life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty under Oklahoma state law.
If convicted of arson in the first degree, he could face imprisonment of up to 35 years, a $25,000 fine or both.