Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Father And Two Sons Plead Guilty In Drifters Murder; Five Others Still Await Trial:

James "Bo" McNeely

In December of 2009 five members of a family members from Laddonia were implicated in the murder of a drifter from Ohio.  Three of them have now pleaded guilty to taking part in killing twenty year-old James "Bo" William Boyd McNeely.

There are conflicting reports as to how Chester Clay "C.J." Harvey Jr., 43, met Bo McNeely but the end result remains the same. 

Chester "C.J." Clay Harvey (mug shot ACSO)
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Harvey was a long haul truck driver and told the Associated Press that he and McNeely hatched a drug scheme after he picked the man up in California.  Harvey told investigators that his family was in dire financial straits because one of his children needs daily dialysis treatment and they owed creditors more than $30,000.

McNeely's mother, Vernia Bowen, says her son was a friend of  Harvey's son Chad and that the boys hitchhiked from Columbus, Ohio to Missouri.

Those charged in connection to McNeely's murder are: Chester Clay "C.J." Harvey Jr., 39, his wife Angela Dawn Harvey, 36; the Harvey's oldest son Chad Michael Harvey, 21; Jordan Harvey, who was 14 years-old at the time of the murder, and Ethan Harvey who was sixteen at the time. 

Three men from Audrain County Robert Nicholas "Nick" Allen, 53; Jackie Don Moss, 45; and Darrill Kirtley Lynn, 46, were charged with kidnapping with the intent of terrorizing in connection to McNeely's death.


Angela Dawn Harvey (mug shot ACSO)

According to court records a conference call between C.J. and Angela Harvey, and Darrill Lynn took place on December 16th.  The Harvey's asked Lynn to kidnap McNeely because he "needed to be taken care of so he couldn't come back and harm them."
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C.J. Harvey was in Waco, Texas, and in transit home when the conference call took place.

 Timeline in McNeely's murder (courtesy of KRCG)
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Darrill K. Lynn (mug shot ACSO)

Court documents reveal that on December 17, 2009, Darrill Lynn, Nick Allen and  Jackie D. Moss, kidnapped McNeely from the Harvey's home and held him against his will at Lynn's house in Farber.
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C. J. Harvey told authorities he had a falling out with Bo McNeely after the younger man allegedly became violent with his wife and three of his sons — a 7-year-old and two teens charged in the killing.
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After returning home that night, C.J. Harvey and his son Chad went to Lynn's house - bound McNeely with duct tape and took him back to the Harvey home in Laddonia.


Chad M. Harvey (mug shot ACSO)

Chester and Chad Harvey told investigators that they put McNeely, who was still bound, on a filthy mattress in the basement where he was tortured for 24 hours.  Bo McNeely was kicked, stomped and repeatedly beaten.  They also threatened the young man with a loaded shotgun, according to court records.

On the night of December 18th, authorities say McNeely was bound to a chair and suffocated with a black trash bag that C.J. Harvey put over his head.  Chad and Jordan Harvey and another person strangled him with an electrical wire.

Investigators say Angela Harvey then instructed her husband to wrap McNeely's body in a tarp in an effort to minimize evidence.  After wrapping McNeeley's body, per Angela Harvey's instructions, C.J. and Chad then transported McNeely's body to the elder Harvey's tractor trailer parked near Vandalia and placed him in the trailer's refrigerated compartment.

The Missouri Highway Patrol got a tip three days after McNeely's murder, saying they would find McNeely's body in Harvey's big rig.

When cops went to question C.J. Harvey and search the home on December 22nd the family barricaded themselves in their house and were in a 20 hourr standoff with authorities.

Jordan Harvey now says he stood guard over McNeely before the killing and held him down while his father suffocated him. Jordan Harvey, who is now sixteen and was charged as an adult, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder today (04-12-11)  in Audrain County Circuit Court.


Jordan Harvey (mug shot ACSO)

In exchange for his guilty plea prosecutors dropped kidnapping charges against him. As part of the plea deal he will be sentenced as a juvenile and will be out of jail by the time he is twenty one.
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C.J. Harvey pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, armed criminal action, kidnapping and abandonment of a corpse yesterday (04-11-11) and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

When C. J. Harvey Jr. took the stand he told the judge he takes full responsibility for McNeely's murder and hopes that it will help his wife and children who are still charged in McNeely's murder.

While on the stand Harvey said, “I’m taking full responsibility for all crimes related to the death of James McNeely.  I recognize that what I did to him was wrong and that he is a victim.  I ask that the court and the state have mercy on my wife and sons.  These crimes were committed because of my decisions and my actions.  My wife and sons had no control or choice.  It’s not fair that their lives be destroyed because of my decisions.  They are victims, too.”

Chad Harvey, who is now twenty, pleaded guilty last October to second-degree murder, kidnapping and abandonment of a corpse.  He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Angela Harvey and a third son, Ethan, who was 16 at the time, also have been charged with murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action. She is due in court for motion hearing next Monday in Boone County and is scheduled to stand trial in October.


Angela Harvey - Darrill Lynn - Jackie Don Moss - Robert "Nick" Allen

Linn is scheduled to appear in court in May; there are no scheduled hearings for Moss, according to online court records. Allen is scheduled to stand trial in June.

McNeely grew up in Martin County, Kentucky and had recently moved to Columbus, Ohio before coming to Missouri. He attended Marshall University and the Mountaineer Challenge Academy in Kingwood, West Virginia, and was interested in becoming a truck driver, according to family members.

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