Man charged with 10 counts in death of Bridgeport Township man - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Man charged with 10 counts in death of Bridgeport Township man

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(06/17/13) - The man accused of killing a Bridgeport Township businessman last week was formally charged with murder, Monday.

Thirty-six-year-old Anthony Clapper faces 10 criminal counts in all, and those charges shed some light on what police say happened the night James Owens was killed.

"Jim helps out more people than I think he should," said Geoffrey Gardner, Jim Owens' business partner.

One of those people is Anthony Clapper. Clapper is now accused of killing businessman James Owens in Owens' Bridgeport Township home on June 11. Gardner says his business partner, Owens, cashed a check for Clapper just hours before his body was found.

"He worked on some cars for him occasionally and mowed grass and done some odd jobs for him," he said.

Clapper is also charged with home invasion, safe-breaking, and three weapons counts. Investigators believe he stole Owens' car too.

Seventy-seven-year-old Owens,  whose cause of death still hasn't been released, ran Owens Contracting Services, which did demolition work for the Saginaw County Land Bank. He also owned several rental properties in the Saginaw area.

Jolynn Maurer knew Owens most of her life. She says he was like a step-grandfather to her. She saw him at the supermarket just hours before his death.

"I saw him everyday," she said. "I've seen him go take people out and buy groceries for them because they didn't have food."

Clarence Burton says he knew Owens for about 10 years, and when Burton needed some help, Owens started a garden that he paid Burton to look after.

He was a good man, he never let me down," he said. "I miss a good man, I can't forgive him, he was good to everybody, white, black, young and old."

Gardner says he still doesn't know what happened that led to Owens' death, but he does know people who were down on their luck lost a friend.

"There is going to be a lot of people out there on the streets that are not going to get a lot of help," he said.

Clapper was denied bond and remains in the Saginaw County Jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 28.

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