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Former Army commando appears in court for the first time charged over murders of husband and wife


A former army commando appeared in court this morning accused of murdering his next door neighbours in an alleged row over parking spaces in a Somerset village.


Collin Reeves, 34, spoke only to confirm his name during the two-minute hearing at Taunton Magistrates Court.


He appeared, dressed in a round-neck grey sweatshirt, charged with killing Jennifer and Stephen Chapple.


The couple, from Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset, were stabbed to death at their home on Sunday.


Reeves, from Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, stood motionless as the two murder charges were read out to him. The former soldier was escorted into the dock by two prison officers.


Reeves’ relatives called out ‘We love you’ and ‘Stay strong’ as he was lead in and out of the court.


Reeves, a former soldier in the 24 Commando Royal Engineers, was remanded back into custody to appear at Exeter Crown Court tomorrow.

A former army commando Collin Reeves (pictured here in a court sketch) appeared in court this morning accused of murdering his next door neighbours in an alleged row over parking spaces in a Somerset village

Collin Reeves, 34, spoke only to confirm his name during the two-minute hearing at Taunton Magistrates Court.

The couple were killed as their children slept upstairs at their home in Dragon Rise, Norton Fitzwarren, at around 9.45pm on Sunday


A second man, aged 67, was arrested on suspicion of the two murders on Sunday evening, and was released under investigation on Tuesday.


'You lit up the street with your smile': Friends pay tribute to couple

Friends have paid tribute to the Chapples in notes left at the scene. One heartfelt message on one read: 'Jennifer you lit up the street with your smile. You and Steve have been such wonderful friends since you arrived in our lives. Such a kind and welcoming couple.

'You have left a void that will be felt across all those who knew you. Words cannot express how much we'll miss you both.'

Another message said: 'Jenni, chick I bloody miss you.