Prosecutor clarifies details on alleged threats to St. Louis business

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | 4:22 p.m. CDT; updated 5:04 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ST. LOUIS — A prosecutor says an Ohio man accused of threatening to set fire to a St. Louis business was not provoked by the employee who answered his phone call.

Charles Papenfus, 43, of Fostoria, Ohio, is charged with making threats May 18 against TXEN Partners, which sells extended auto-service warranties.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said Wednesday that Papenfus allegedly named specific employees and threatened to kill them and their families. She said Papenfus made the remarks at the beginning of a phone call he initiated.

But Douglas Forsyth, an attorney for Papenfus, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that a telemarketer returned one of Papenfus' calls and insulted him before the threats were allegedly made.

A judge signed an order late Tuesday reducing Papenfus' bond to $5,000.

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