WY Teens Plead Not Guilty in Triple Murder - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

WY Teens Plead Not Guilty in Triple Murder

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BILLINGS -

More than two months after the murder of three Clark residents, 19-year-old Stephen Hammer and 18-year-old Tanner Vanpelt were arraigned at the Park County Courthouse Wednesday, for allegedly murdering Ildiko Freitas and her parents, Janos and Hildegard Volgyesi.

Court documents show the two teenagers, when arrested the same day of the murders, admitted to killing the three Clark residents and stealing guns from the Cody Sports and Pawn Store. But, their pleas indicate otherwise.

Ildiko Freitas and her parents, Janos and Hildegard Volgyesi allegedly lost their lives when Freitas refused to give the accused teens her car.

"It's just unbelievable that something like that can happen in a small place like this. It just took it to another level," says Gail Fennell, who lives in the nearby town, Powell.

More than 30 people showed up for the arraignment of Hammer and Vanpelt, both of whom are charged with eleven felonies from murder to premeditated malice.

"It's one of those things that you don't think would happen that close to home," says Ann Parsons of Cody.

The courtroom was silent when Vanpelt and Hammer both plead not guilty.

But more than two months after the murders, residents of Park County are still alarmed and cautious.

"It's probably one of the most cold blooded things I've ever heard of," says Bill Cody, who says he's known the teens for several years and never would have expected this from them. "The community is devastated. I mean it's absolutely just, we couldn't believe it happened here, and especially with some of our own kids. I mean, those are kids I see everyday, and I have since they were in high school. And I never would have guessed. It never would have even dawned on me."

"I think more people are locking their doors now. I think more people are just kind of, they don't trust people anymore. I mean, not all the way, but it's hard," says Parsons.

Judge Steven Cranfill did not announce when the two teens will be back in court. Until then, Vanpelt and Hammer are both being held in the Park County Detention Center.

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