Court documents detail McNeely's murder
Mon, 04 Jan 2010 23:32:22 GMT —
Probable cause documents are shedding more light on the events that led to the death of James McNeely, the man found dead nearly two weeks ago in a tractor trailer in Vandalia, Mo.
Eight people, including two juveniles, are charged in connection with his murder.
Court documents detail the murder confessions of Chester Clay Harvey Jr., his oldest son Chad Harvey, and Chester's wife Angela.
Audrain County residents Robert Allen, Jack Moss, and Darrill Lynn also explain their part in the scheme to investigators.
It seems James McNeely was staying at the Harvey's house in Laddonia before his murder.
McNeely's family said he was friends with Chad Harvey.
"He was with the son," McNeely's mother Vernia Bowen said. "I guess he met up with him and they hitchhiked from Columbus to Missouri."
Court documents show a conference call took place Dec. 16.
In that conversation, Chester and Angela Harvey ask Darrill Lynn to kidnap McNeely to get him out of their house.
Angela tells police the three agreed McNeely "needed to be taken care of so he couldn't come back and harm them."
Court documents show on Dec. 17 Darrill Lynn, along with Robert N. Allen and Jackie D. Moss, took McNeely from the Harvey's house against his will and held him at Lynn's house in Farber, Mo.
Later that night, Chester Harvey and his son Chad came to Lynn's house, bound McNeely's hands and feet with duct tape, and took him back to Harvey's house in Laddonia.
According to both Chester and Chad's confessions, the two kept McNeely bound and laid him on a mattress in the home's basement.
McNeely was tortured there for a whole day, being punched, kicked, and threatened with a loaded gun.
On the night of Dec. 18, police said McNeely was bound to a chair.
Chester Harvey then suffocated McNeely with a black trash bag around his head while Chad and two others held McNeely down and strangled him with a wire.
Angela Harvey told investigators she then instructed her husband on how to wrap McNeely's body in a tarp to try to minimize evidence.
Chester and Chad then took McNeely's body to Chester's tractor trailer parked in Vandalia and dumped him in the trailer's refrigerated compartment.
"I want people to know that he was not like those monsters that killed and tortured him," McNeely's foster aunt said. "He was not one of them. He was not on drugs. Bo was a loving, intelligent, charming person. And its so sad."
The Highway Patrol received a tip three days after McNeely's murder, directing authorities to the tractor trailer.
Police came to question Chester Harvey Dec. 22 and searched his home. It was then that the Harvey family barricaded themselves in their home for a standoff with authorities that lasted nearly 20 hours.
A hearing for the two juveniles, age 14 and 16, also charged with McNeely's murder is scheduled for February. The hearing will determine whether the two will be certified to stand trial as adults.
Click the link below to see an interactive timeline of events and the complete charges facing each of the eight suspects.