A 27-year-old man has been charged with murdering three pensioners in Exeter, Devon and Cornwall Police have said.
Alexander Lewis-Ranwell, from Croyde, North Devon, will appear at Exeter Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, accused of with murdering Anthony Payne, 80, and twins Dick and Roger Carter, 84, who all lived in Exeter.
He has also been charged with two offences of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Mr Payne was found dead at an address in Bonhay Road on Monday, while the bodies of the Carter twins were discovered in Cowick Lane the following day.
Detective Chief Inspector, Roy Linden, deputy head of major crime, said: “I would like to start by thanking everyone who has supported this investigation.
“Given this is now subject to formal court proceedings, we would remind everyone that Contempt of Court rules apply. It is therefore essential that no-one speculates about the investigation, particularly on social media. It is essential that we maintain the fairness and integrity of the court process.”
Superintendent Matt Lawler, local policing commander for Exeter, East and Mid Devon, said: “All of our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the victims.
“You’ll continue to see officers on foot patrol, speaking to residents, and conducting investigative work at the two addresses in the city over the coming days.
“We are grateful for the messages of support that communities in and around Exeter have been expressing in recent days. We would like to sincerely thank local residents, our partner agencies and local councillors for their understanding and co-operation.”
Lewis-Ranwell, who was first arrested on Tuesday evening, remains in custody.
Tributes have been paid to the three elderly men, who all sustained serious head injuries.
Ronnie Teague, 73, the brother-in-law of Mr Payne, described his shock at news of the death to Devon Live.
“It is such a shocking thing to hear,” Mr Teague told the website.
Police have charged 27-year-old Alexander Lewis-Ranwell from Croyde, #Braunton with the #murder of three elderly men in #Exeter. He will appear at Exeter Magistrates Court on Saturday 16 February. pic.twitter.com/BquV8Cli7B
— DevonCornwall Police (@DC_Police) February 15, 2019
“He used to be an outgoing chap and used to go to the pub a lot.
“He would play darts and cards and was friendly with everyone but he did become a bit more reclusive in latter years.”
Mr Teague added: “He was just a normal and friendly bloke.”
Martyn Liddon, 76, who runs the Exeter-based Men In Sheds charity, said he was “gutted” to hear of the deaths of Dick and Roger Carter.
“I don’t think they had a bad bone in their body, either of them,” he said.
“Roger had pretty bad arthritis and he used to hobble down to Sainsbury’s.
“If I saw him walking along I used to say good morning.
“He was a bit more of a recluse than Dick was.”