4/20/2023 1:00 PM

Sandra Rappold was given a plea deal of 10-40 years for First Degree Murder, 6-30 years for Arson, 3-10 years for Abuse of a Corpse, and 0-6 years for Tampering with Evidence in connection with the murder of Steve Fason of Perry County on February 9th, 2020.

Steve Fason (Source: Roller Funeral Homes)

We have seen several different interpretations of this sentence but most have said she will have to serve between 18 and 25 years. (18 years takes into account her time served.) Rappold was represented by attorney Bill James out of Little Rock who is the best of the best and often appointed in Capital cases because of his experience in death penalty cases.

Police were called to Steve Fason’s home on February 9th, 2020 after a report of a house fire. Authorities located what appeared to be blood evidence near a fire pit as well as blood on beer cans and an outdoor sink which indicated that someone may have been injured and needed immediate medical care. Fason was found to missing from the home.

Rappold was initially charged with Capital Murder, Abuse of a Corpse, Arson, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor. Her bond was set at $1 million. Fason’s cause of death was listed as “sharp force wound of neck.” Rappold had been on probation in a Criminal Mischief case and a Petition for Revocation was filed in that case shortly after her arrest in Fason’s murder.

Allegations have flown for years about who may have been involved in the murder and what the motive may have been. Fason’s body was located at the Carden Bottoms Sod Farm which just happened to be owned by the family of Sandra Rappold’s boyfriend. Most of the folks involved in this case who have seen the evidence believe there is absolutely no way Rappold could have done this on her own. It would certainly have taken more than Sandra Rappold to move Steve’s body.

The second arrest in the case would come in April of 2020. A friend of Sandra Rappold, Mae Blevins, was arrested and charged with Arson, Abuse of a Corpse, Tampering with Evidence, and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. Blevins’ bond was set at $7,500 and she was subsequently released. Blevins is currently awaiting a Fitness to Proceed Exam in order to determine if she is mentally fit to stand trial. It is unknown as to whether Blevins will receive a plea deal at this time.

Could Rappold and Blevins have moved a body on their own? We don’t believe so.

In September of 2021 Sandra Rappold would be charged with another crime while in jail but this time it was for Escape. Rappold was removed from the Perry County Detention Center by her alleged lover, Brittany “Abby” Strange, who was working as a jailer. Strange took Rappold out of the jail and loaded her into her personal vehicle at the gate of the jail. Strange turned off the alarm for the doors so that the other Jailers wouldn’t know she’d removed an inmate.

Jailers became aware of a door being open and began to investigate. They discovered Rappold was not in her cell. A short time later Rappold and Strange were located at the Liberty Ambulance Station in Perryville. The surveillance cameras recorded Strange backing her Jeep up to the A pod gate and opening her car door. After a few minutes Strange drove away from the jail.

Investigators interrogated both women and it was discovered that Strange had given Rappold a THC vape pen during the excursion. Rappold was charged with Escape 3rd Degree, a misdemeanor. Strange was charged with Permitting Escape 1st Degree, Furnishing Prohibited Articles (the THC vape pen, and Impairing the Operation of a Vital Facility.

Strange is still awaiting trial and has a status hearing in June.

Law enforcement have not released a motive in the murder of Fason.