Man Charged with Murder :"I Was Trying to Help."

Meghan McRoberts

OMAHA (KPTM)- A man says he's innocent after being charged with murder, arson, burglary and attempted robbery.

Investigators say 30-year-old Terrance Hale broke into 76- year-old Elizabeth Vasholz and 83-year old Raymond Vasholz home by throwing a brick through a window.

They say he demanded money from the couple, assaulted them and then pushed furniture in front of any exit before setting the house on fire.

Raymond died from his injuries. Elizabeth is still in critical condition.

In a jailhouse interview Monday, Hale said police have the wrong guy. "I would never do anything to harm anybody," said Hale. "I didn't do such a thing. I try to save somebody's life and this is how I get treated."

He said he was walking near the house that morning and smelled smoke, then tried to get the couple out of the house. He said he helped Elizabeth get to her neighbor's house, even gave her his jacket to cover her burned skin.

He said he went back in to get Raymond, but someone else was in the house. "I was looking for him and couldn't find him and that's when I got attacked," said Hale.

He believes someone else was in the house before he got there. Hale said he escaped by punching out a window. "I don't know who that person was but it's not my job to find out," said Hale.

Hale said he has no reason to demand money from the couple. He said they would pay him to shovel the driveway or cut grass. "I go to church, I'm studying to be a deacon. I would never do anything like this," supported Hale.

Hale admitted he has been charged with assault in the past as well as stealing checks. Hale's mother filed a restraining order on him five years ago for trying to set a fire in her house.

There is a fund for the Vasholz family for funeral and medical costs. Donations can be made at any American National Bank under the Vasholz Family Fund.