Man arraigned in connection to Bridgeport Twp. slaying - WNEM TV 5

Man arraigned in connection to Bridgeport Twp. slaying

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Anthony Clapper Anthony Clapper
James Owen, the victim. James Owen, the victim.

A man has gone before a Mid-Michigan judge on charges stemming from the slaying of a 77-year-old man at his Bridgeport Township home last week.

Anthony Clapper, 36, was charged with first-degree murder and nine other felonies in the death of Bridgeport business owner James Owens.

State Police say Owens was found dead inside his residence June 12. Police have not yet released how Owens died. The arrest warrant alleges that Clapper killed Owens during a break-in followed by a robbery. Clapper is also accused of stealing Owens' car.  

MSP Lt. Brian Cole said at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, an employee of the excavating company behind the home found the man unresponsive. The man was later declared dead by police.

TV5 learned from employees of the excavating company the victim was well known in the community. He owned the business behind his home and also owned more than 60 rental homes in the Saginaw area.

Friends and family say Owens never hesitated to help someone. They say Owens even helped the man who's accused of killing him.

"There's no sense in it, it's a senseless killing for a good guy," said Scott Jacques last week, an employee of the victim.

Owens cashed a check for the suspect last week, one day before his body was found. And another connection, Clapper's father rented a home from Owens. Owens also recently paid the utility bill on that home.

Stay with and TV5 as we learn more about this case.

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