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Man arrested, charged in death of woman killed before Springfield house fire

Pavel Samsinak faces charges in a fatal fire  overnight Sept. 22 in Springfield.
Pavel Samsinak faces charges in a fatal fire overnight Sept. 22 in Springfield.(Greene County Jail)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 5:02 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 6:02 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Prosecutors have charged a man with the death of a woman killed in a Springfield house fire earlier this week.

Pavel Samsinak was booked Thursday into the Greene County Jail. Samsinak faces charges of second-degree murder, arson, and tampering with evidence.

Police say Alice Hale, 66, died Monday in 1700 block of West Lombard, near Scenic and Grand in southwest Springfield. Authorities responded to the home around 10:30 p.m. Monday, when it had already been engulfed in flames.

The Springfield Police Department, with assistance from the Springfield Fire Department, conducted a death investigation and determined Hale died from injuries unrelated to the fire. Authorities say she suffered trauma to her head before she was recovered from the home.

A witness told detectives, before the fire, she heard fighting inside the house. Another person said Hale had a disagreement with Samsinak over a privacy fence he installed on a vacant lot he owned by her house.

Police say they found a can of gas in Samsinak’s truck the day after the fire and noticed blood on his front door, according to court records.

Family members say Alice Hale had lived in the neighborhood all her life and worked as a custodian at various Springfield Public Schools up until her retirement. They are shocked at her death and full of questions.

“Why, pretty much the big question is why,” said John Hale, victim’s nephew. “Especially, as they said it’s suspicious. She wasn’t a bad person. She’d tell you exactly what she thought. She wasn’t afraid to smack you in the mouth if you got out of line. I know it was a little kid, that she was was not a spare the rod and spoil the child kind of woman. But she was very loving.”

The Springfield Police Department says this marks the 19th violent death in the city this year. Fourteen of those have been determined to be murder under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting rules, one was classified as negligent manslaughter, and another was ruled justified after review by the Greene County Prosecutor. Three others, remain under investigation to determine the appropriate classification.

Samsinak is presumed innocent unless proven guilty by the court of law.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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