Neighbor charged with couple's murder in Frankford

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Neighbor charged with couple's murder in Frankford. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 5pm on July 28, 2017.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has charged a man with shooting and killing his neighbors, who were also a couple, in the Frankford section earlier this month.

Kenneth Hoyle, 69, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 45-year-old Bob DePaul and 42-year-old August Dempsey back on July 16.

Pictured: Kenneth Hoyle


The incident happened in the 4700 block of James Street.

Police earlier said Hoyle admitted to shooting both DePaul and Dempsey in the head.

Pictured: Robert DePaul and August Dempsey



He allegedly claimed that the couple scaled his fence during an argument, so he fired in self-defense. Hoyle was briefly taken into custody after the shooting but then released.


Those in the community say there had been constant friction between the neighbors.

"We just know that they didn't get along, that anytime Bob was working in his yard or had a barbecue or he had his fire pit going that the neighbors, Kenneth and Maria, they would call the cops on him, call L&I. They just tried to give him any kind of hard time that they could," said Anna Szymanski.

Earlier this week, Dempsey's sons delivered petitions with more than 5,000 signatures to interim District Attorney Kelley Hodge, calling for charges to be filed.

On Friday, the D.A.'s office said in a statement the charges came "after a comprehensive investigation."

"Hoyle is currently in custody, and the Office looks forward to obtaining justice for the families of the victims," the statement reads.


Dempsey's ex-husband, Anthony, says she constantly complained about Hoyle's behavior towards Bob DePaul.

"We were all worried about him not being charged, and we saw everybody was still being threatened by him just being out," he said.

Family members believe Hoyle will now face justice.

"I just want to say thank you, everybody, locally, around the surrounding communities, and throughout everywhere for showing your support and honoring my mother and her boyfriend, Robert," said Anthony Dempsey Jr.

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