St. Louis (KSDK) - Investigators say 25-year-old Nicholas Preli admits to shooting and burning a rural St. Charles County farmer, confessing he put him down like an animal.
Wednesday, police confirmed the identity of the victim as 59 year old Paul Fischer.
According to charging documents, the suspect claims this murder was the result of a fight that started over how the suspect drove an ATV.
Investigators say the suspect, Nicholas Preli, told them he drove to Fischer's farm on North Highway 94 Saturday on an ATV.
He says Fischer berated him for making ruts in the gravel driveway.
The two fought and, during the struggle, Preli claims the farmer tried to strike him with a hammer before dropping it.
The suspect says he then shot Fischer with a Glock pistol two or three times until he fell to the ground and then fired the remaining rounds at the victim in order to be “like putting down an animal” so he didn't suffer.
Police say Preli hid the body and then came back early the next morning and burned it in a debris pile across the highway from the farm.
St. Charles County Police found the remains Monday.
Tuesday, Fischer's sister spoke to Five on Your Side.
“He did not deserve to die like this,” said Mary Jo Fischer. “He kept up our family farm and I loved him.”
Investigators say Preli returned to the scene of the murder to re-enact the killing for them.
He admitted to dousing Fischer's body with gasoline to burn it.
He faces charges including murder and tampering with evidence.
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