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© of Okmulgee County Detention Center/Website Joseph Kennedy, 67, was charged Monday with killing four cyclists whose bodies were found dismembered last month in an Oklahoma river. Photo courtesy of Okmulgee County Detention Center/Website
Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in Oklahoma on Monday formally charged a man accused of brutally killing and dismembering four cyclists in the state early last month.
District Attorney Carol Iski for the county of Okmulgee, home to some 36,800 people south of Tulsa, announced during a press conference Monday that Joseph Kennedy, 67, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Mark Chastain, 32; Billy Chastain, 30; Mike Sparks, 32; and Alex Stevens, 29.
A Mississippi man was arrested and charged with mayhem after police said he bit off another man's nose in an argument over golf
Bay St. Louis Police Department said when officers found the victim with ""with a disfiguring facial injury."In June, President Joe Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — the most significant piece of gun legislation to pass in decades. Part of the bill included $750 million in federal funding for states to implement intervention programs such as gun restraining orders, more colloquially known as "red flag laws.
The four men were last seen Oct. 9 when they left an Okmulgee residence on bicycles and traveled to a scrap yard owned by Kennedy.
The men were reported missing the next day after they failed to return to their homes, sparking a mass search, which led officers to find their dismembered bodies in the Deep Fork River on Oct. 14.
"All four victims had suffered gunshot wounds and had been transected at the waist," Iski said Monday. "Additionally, Michael Sparks had both arms removed."
Kennedy was arrested days later in Daytona Beach Shores, Fla., some 1,200 miles from the original crime scene, in possession of a stolen vehicle.
Iski said location data retrieved from Mark Chastain's phone showed that the device was at the scrap yard Oct. 9 but left the site at around 8 p.m. and traveled to a local gas station by vehicle. Surveillance footage retrieved from the gas station at the time Mark Chastain's phone is believed to have been in the vicinity shows Kennedy standing next to his PT Cruiser at a fuel pump.
Oklahoma man charged in killings of 4 men found in river
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Oklahoma man accused of killing and dismembering four men in eastern Oklahoma was charged Monday with four counts of first-degree murder. Okmulgee County District Attorney Carol Iski announced the charges against Joseph Kennedy, 67, at a news conference. The dismembered bodies of Mark Chastain, 32, Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29, were found Oct. 14 in the Deep Fork River in Okmulgee, a town of around 11,000 people that is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Tulsa. The men were believed to have left a house in Okmulgee on bicycles the evening of Oct. 9.
From the gas station, the phone is believed to have traveled to a second scrap yard owned by the suspect, Iski said, where it stopped transmitting location data.
After the four bodies were discovered, police executed a search warrant for the first scrap yard and located blood, a broken set of dentures and some personal items as well as a tree that had recently be struck by a 7.62 caliber bullet that was recovered.
During an undated, voluntary interview with police, Kennedy told investigators he had been experiencing a series of thefts on his property and that he had surveyed his lot Oct. 9 in an effort to catch those responsible.
"During the time the defendant admits he was present in the scrap yard, it is believed that the victim or victims were also present" based on Mark Chastain's phone records, Iski said, adding that Kennedy states he didn't not see anyone at that time.
Isaki also said Kennedy confessed to a woman he was romantically involved in.
Two women accused of murdering man in Oregon's Tillamook State Forest caught in Nevada
Alyssa Sturgill, 40, and Lisa Peaslee, 41, were arrested and charged with the murder of a man who was shot in Oregon’s Tillamook State Forest, authorities said.The victim’s body was found Friday at a campsite on the East Fork of the Trask River while a Tillamook deputy was making routine visits to the state forest’s campsites, the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office said. The deputy also found the man’s barking dog tied to a nearby tree.
The woman informed police on Oct. 18 that Kennedy came to her residence the morning after the murders are believed to have occurred.
"She said [Kennedy] was acting very strangely," Isaki said. "She stated that he had brought to her a bicycle that he had left for her son."
Kennedy's second visit to the woman's house occurred at 3 a.m. Oct. 15, the district attorney said.
"She reported that he was very agitated and told her that he was leaving and she would never see him again," Isaki said. "She reported that when she asked him what was wrong he told her that they were all against him and he lost it and he just started shooting. She told him that after he shot them he cut them up."
The bicycle Kennedy gave to the woman is believed to be the one Billy Chastain rode to the scrap yard the day he went missing.
Isaki said DNA evidence from the blood also ties him to the murders.
Asked if they intend to seek the death penalty for Kennedy, Isaki said they have not yet decided on what punishment they will request.
"Typically, we make that after we've had a chance to sit down with the families so at this point we haven't made that decision," she said.
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Although Texas Killing Field’s suspect Clyde Hedrick escaped justice in the 1980s, he would later be convicted of at least one death in the area.Although several murderers have been linked to the Texas killing fields, Clyde Hedrick was touted as the main suspect in Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields. Hedrick lived in the area during the time of the murders and was known by many people to have a charming personality. Despite this, Hedrick had a dark side and a lengthy rap sheet for a variety of crimes including DUI and attempted arson. One of these criminal charges would be enough to land him in prison, although the case would take decades to resolve.