Platte County man found guilty of murdering four family members in 2016


Grayden Denham

PLATTE CITY, Mo. — A Platte County man has been found guilty in the 2016 murders of four family members.

A Platte County jury found Grayden Denham guilty on Tuesday of four counts of first-degree murder for the shooting deaths of his grandparents, sister and 3-month-old nephew.

The bodies of 82-year-old Russell and 81-year-old Shirley Denham, along with 31-year-old Heather and her son Mason, were found outside a burning home near Edgerton.

Denham was also found guilty of second-degree arson, animal abuse, stealing a motor vehicle and four counts of armed criminal action.

It took the jury just over two hours to return their verdict Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutors said Denham shot and then set each victim, including the family dog, on fire. Investigators said Denham then stole his grandparents’ car.

When other family members couldn’t reach Denham, investigators initiated a multi-state manhunt. Denham was later arrested after officers found him wandering naked in Arizona. The car he is accused of stealing was parked at a nearby hotel.

In 2020, a judge ruled that Denham was not mentally fit to stand trial and was instead committed to the Missouri Department of Health.

Denham has had two competency evaluations this year to determine whether he can aid in his own defense before proceeding to trial.

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