TAMPA (FOX 13) - Hillsborough Circuit Judge John Conrad addressed defendant Michael Herald during his first appearance Friday. "Mr. Herald, he said, "you have three charges pending this morning."
Two of those charges are for the murders of John and Nancy Englehart. "There is probable cause to believe you committed each of these crimes," continued Judge Conrad.
That's probably why investigators say Michael Herald went on the run after killing the retired couple last month. They were found dead in their shed after neighbors realized something wasn't right.
Nancy Smith told FOX 13 they had their suspicions. "Well, her mail is piling up, her packages are piling up, her van is missing," said Smith.
Detectives in Kentucky allegedly spotted Herald driving the Engleharts' van and he was immediately arrested. They say the couple had recently hired him as a handy man.
The Engleharts' next-door neighbor, Shawn McIntosh, saw Herald stop by that Wednesday morning.
"Me and my son heard three distinct bangs," he recalled.
Turns out those bangs were a lot more sinister than they first thought. "It sounded like banging a hammer on metal so we assumed that Mike was over there working," he continued.
McIntosh said Herald had even stayed with the Engelharts from time to time, helping Nancy care for her husband, who was battling cancer.
Smith still can't believe it. "They didn't deserve this. Nobody deserves this. I mean, they were my neighbors, but I respected that they were private people and they didn't want to be bothered."
Now the man accused of killing this beloved couple in their twilight years won't be getting out jail anytime soon. "You will be held with no bond," Judge Conrad told Herald.