3 Bodies Found at Sam Donaldson's Ranch
ABC newsman Sam Donaldson's southern New Mexico ranch was the scene of a multiple slaying Wednesday as sheriff's deputies recovered three bodies in a shallow grave.
Cody Posey, the 14-year-old son of the Hondo ranch manager, was arrested "at a friend's house in the area" on charges of murdering his father, stepmother and stepsister, Lincoln County Sheriff Tom Sullivan said. Donaldson discovered the crime scene Tuesday at the ranchhand's hacienda-style home after returning from a trip to Santa Fe.
"He was quite shaken," Sullivan said of the newscaster, who was not considered a suspect.
The dead were Cody's father, Delbert Paul Posey; his stepsister, MaryLee Schmid, 14; and his stepmother, Sullivan said. He did not reveal how the three were killed or any possible motives.
In a statement, Donaldson, 70, who owns three ranches in New Mexico, told Albuquerque station KOB-TV that he and his wife, Jan, hired Delbert Posey to work at the ranch in October 2001.
"Jan and I are so very, very sorry about the loss of these fine people," said Donaldson, who described Cody Posey as "withdrawn, like any typical teenager."
District Attorney Scot Key tells the Associated Press that Cody Posey would be tried as a juvenile but could be punished as an adult, if convicted. He is due to appear in court Thursday.
Key said the sentence could range from probation under juvenile law to 30 years in prison, the standard in New Mexico for an adult convicted of murder.
Apparently, this is the second time a deadly crime has struck the Posey family. In 1995, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports, Delbert Paul Posey's parents were found shot to death in bed at their ranch in an apparent murder-suicide.
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