MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — A Springfield man has been ordered to stand trial in Lawrence County on arson and burglary charges stemming from a suspected meth-fueled tirade Sept. 2.
Michael T. Parkhurst, 42, waived a preliminary hearing Thursday in Lawrence County Circuit Court on counts of first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, first-degree arson and possession of a controlled substance. Associate Judge Robert George set the defendant's initial appearance in a trial division of the court for Nov. 13.
Parkhurst is accused of trying to break into the rural home of Darvin Toman south of Lawrenceburg and setting a fire in Toman's barn.
A probable-cause affidavit states that deputies called to the scene found a female friend of the suspect in a vehicle stopped at the intersection of county roads 2030 and 1220 and Route Z, with Parkhurst lying in the middle of the road in his underwear less than a quarter-mile away, and flopping about and screaming. The girlfriend was detained by a deputy and an ambulance called for Parkhurst while another deputy proceeded to Toman's property where gunshots could be heard coming from the barn.
The deputy found that a small fire on a work bench that the suspect allegedly set was causing some ammunition on the bench to discharge.
Toman told the deputy after the fire was put out that Parkhurst had come to his home in his underwear and beat on the door until he ran him off his porch. He returned with a roofing hammer and broke the door and its window before Toman stuck a shotgun in his face and ran him off a second time, firing a shot into the air.
According to the affidavit, Parkhurst then continued running around Toman's yard and even sitting down in his bird bath at one point while Toman and the woman waited for deputies to arrive.
The suspect's female friend consented to a search of her car, which turned up a lockbox containing both new and used syringes and a bag with meth residue, according to the affidavit. She told deputies that Parkhurst had used about three or four grams of meth that day, according to the affidavit.