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A Hope Valley man was indicted by the Statewide Grand Jury on Wednesday, Sept. 28, on five charges, including one for murder.
Jared Tefft, formerly of 110 Woody Hill Road, is charged with one count of felony murder, two counts of first degree arson, one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of simple assault. The indictment is the result of an altercation on Jan. 26, 2011, that lead to the death of Peter Newman.
Allegedly, Tefft and Newman engaged in a physical fight at the small, three bedroom home on peaceful and secluded Woody Hill Road in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan 26. According to an interim report by the Statewide Grand Jury, released by the office of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, Tefft pinned Newman down during the fight and put a knife to his throat. He then struck Newman in the head, rendering him unconscious.
At this time, Tefft believed Newman was dead, so he started a fire in the house trying to dispose of the body. When he returned to the house a short time later, he discovered the fire had stopped burning, so he doused the body with gasoline and started a second blaze.
Troopers from the Hope Valley State Police Barracks arrived at the scene to find flames billowing from the house after receiving a call at 3:30 a.m. stating that a possible struggle was taking place at the Woody Hill Road home. Firefighters from the surrounding areas arrived shortly after 4 p.m. to extinguish the blaze. It was determined that the fire was intentionally set, and the house was found to be empty of occupants, except for Newman's lifeless body.
For more information, pick up a copy of The Chariho Times.