Gruesome details released in murder of veteran and his daughter
DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. (WKRC) - A man and his girlfriend were charged Monday with murdering a decorated Vietnam veteran and his daughter for money to buy drugs, according to an affidavit.
Cody Booth, 28, and Margie Thompson, 47, face charges of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery in the deaths of Walter Bryant and his daughter, Faith Craig. Booth was Bryant's grandson and Craig's son. He and Thompson were living in the home Bryant and Craig shared. Thompson appeared in Dearborn Co. Court Monday where a judged ordered her held without bail.
"Cody told the detectives that he was dope sick and they were needing money and I think that's when everything went into action," said Dearborn Co. Prosecutor Lynn Deddens.
According to an affidavit from an Indiana State Police detective, Cody Booth said he wanted to strangle his mom, Faith Craig, with a belt but he couldn't do it. Then, Booth sat on his mother's lap and told her he was really sick and he loved her. The affidavit outlines in gruesome detail what happened next: Detectives said Booth told them his mother responded "you are getting ready to do something you don't want to do" and Booth said "yes." Detectives said Booth put his hand over his mother's mouth as she screamed for her father and then Thompson stabbed Craig. The detectives said Booth confessed to throwing his grandfather down the basement steps and stabbing him to make sure he was dead.
"It was pretty hard to read," said P.G. Gentrup, a Vietnam veteran who knew Bryant well. "We're all trying to focus on Walt's family, supporting the family."
Gentrup and other Vietnam veterans went to court Monday to support Bryant and Craig's family. Walt Bryant was a decorated Vietnam veteran who was awarded several commendations including two Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars and Army Commendation medals with valor.
Booth and Thompson were also charged with stealing Bryant's military medals, his car, his money and other belongings to pawn for drug money in Cincinnati. Detectives said Thompson led them to Bryant's wallet and other belongings which were dumped at a rest stop off the interstate in Kentucky.
"I'm very sorry that this has happened," said Diana Land, Thompson's mother. "I am praying and my heart is broken for the victims' families and I just want to say I love my daughter and I always will."
Court records show Booth had had problems with drugs for years. He was convicted of felony drug possession in Kentucky in 2011 and violated the conditions of his parole several times. A warrant was out for his arrest for violating the conditions of his parole when he was pulled over in southern Kentucky on January 20. Bryant's friends said he and Craig did everything they could to help Booth.
"Get him lawyer fees and drug rehab and things through the years and you would hope and pray there would be a good outcome," Gentrup said. "But it always went back the other way. It just shows what drugs can do to you. How they can grab a hold of you."
Bryant and Craig's family did not want to comment on camera for this story. Family members released a statement thanking police and veterans. They called Walt Bryant "one of the few, true American heroes."
A pre-trial conference will be held for Thompson on March 14. Booth remains in jail in Pulaski County, Kentucky. He will be extradited to Indiana to face the murder charges.
Members of the family released a statement:
"First and foremost the family would like to thank all of the law enforcement agencies that have committed their time and resources to this tragedy.„Specifically the Dearborn a Ohio County Prosecutors Office, Dearborn County Sheriffs Office, Indiana State Police and the United States Marshall's, We sincerely appreciate your time and effort in this matter- Thank you.
A very special thank you goes out to the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 71 the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 4, specifically P,G, Gentrup & Jerry Bondurant and all of the veterans who have stood hand in hand by us like brothers during this time, You have been an unbelievable resource and blessing to our family, Thank you.
We would also like to thank Mike Page and his lovely wife Sue, the neighbors across the Street from Walt & Faith, who were gracious enough to open their home to all family members and law enforcement officials who worked tirelessly throughout all hours of the night. Your Hoosier hospitality will always be remembered. Thank you.
To the Community. Your outpouring thoughts, prayers and donations are deeply appreciated. Everyone in this family is so thankful for the amount of support shown during this most difficult time...Specifically, the Dearborn Adult Center. Thank you.
This is a safe and wonderful community to live and grow up in. We hope that with the announcement today that the community will rest easy tonight, knowing that the hard work put in by your local, state and federal law enforcement have ensured that our streets are safe.
As many of you know or some of you may not know, Walt Bryant Jr. was one of the few TRUE AMERICAN HERO'S, His commitment to his country extended past his 21 years of active duty. We are humbled by his service to his country, we are thankful he was blessed in our lives, but we are heartbroken that he and his dear daughter Faith were taken from us all.
At this time we are committed as a family to let the judicial process run its course.
We please ask that all further questions or interviews be directed to law enforcement officials.
We as a family will make no further comments.
REST IN PEACE WALT BRYANT Jr. & Faith Craig...YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN."