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Murder charges for couple accused of killing Aspen socialite

Nancy Styler, left, and William Styler III Pitkin County Sheriff's Office via CBS Denver

ASPEN, Colo. - A married couple accused in the death of Aspen socialite Nancy Pfister has been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

William F. Styler III, 65, and Nancy Christine Styler, 62, appeared before a judge Monday. The couple was arrested in connection with the death of the 57-year-old Pfister earlier this month. Over the weekend, authorities arrested a third suspect in Pfister's death -- 56-year-old Katherine Carpenter. She also appeared in court Monday in a separate hearing and faces the same charges as the Stylers.

The Stylers were renting Pfister's Aspen home while she was on vacation in Australia, authorities have said. They apparently moved out of the home on Feb. 22, the same day Pfister returned home.

nancy-pfister.jpg
Nancy Pfister
CBS Denver
Pfister's body was found just four days later, on Feb. 26, in an upstairs closet at her Aspen home. Investigators have not said when or how she was killed but sources close to the investigation tell CBS Denver that she was beaten to death.

According to the Aspen Daily News, Carpenter was the one who called police to say she had found Pfister's body. Carpenter was reportedly a friend of Pfister. Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo has said Carpenter was the "go-between on rent collection and management of the home" while Pfister was in Australia, reports the paper.

Authorities have not named a possible motive in Pfister's death, however Pfister posted on Facebook a month before she was found dead that the people renting her home - the Stylers - were failing to pay rent and utilities.

Pfister was the daughter of the late Betty and Art Pfister, longtime prominent Aspen residents who co-founded the Buttermilk ski area west of town. Buttermilk Mountain has hosted the Winter X Games multiple times.

In court Monday, a defense attorney accused Sheriff DiSalvo of releasing too much information about the case to the public. Following the hearing, the sheriff's office said they will not release any more information, citing an ongoing investigation.

All three suspects are being held without bond. Carpenter's next court date is scheduled for March 26, when charges are expected to be filed against her. The Stylers will appear in court again Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

  • Stephanie Slifer On Twitter»

    Stephanie Slifer covers crime and justice for CBSNews.com.

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