Hamilton teacher charged in arson murders of mother, stepfather denied bail

Alan and Carla Rutherford were asleep in their Dundas home when a blaze engulfed their bedroom early in the morning on July 9, 2018. Hamilton Police Service

A Hamilton teacher charged in the arson deaths of his mother and stepfather has been denied bail.

Richard Taylor, 43, is charged with first-degree murder in the July 2018 deaths of Carla and Alan Rutherford, who died as a result of a fire that police say was deliberately set in the bedroom of their home on Greening Court in Dundas, Ont.

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A three-day bail hearing was held in February for Taylor, who was arrested in January 2019 near Hess Street Elementary School, where he had been a teacher.

The details of that bail hearing cannot be reported due to a publication ban.

Justice Paul Sweeny delivered his decision at John Sopinka Courthouse on Friday morning and Taylor has been remanded in custody until the preliminary hearing, which is scheduled to begin on April 7.

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At the time of Taylor’s arrest, Hamilton police said they believe the motivation behind the murders was financial and that they were not seeking any other suspects.

They added that there didn’t appear to be any “strife” between Taylor and his mother, and that the Greening Court address was his childhood home.

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