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Audrain County trucker's sons also charged in slaying of Ohio man

Monday, January 4, 2010 | 9:14 p.m. CST

MEXICO, Mo. — Two more teenage sons of a Missouri truck driver have been charged in the death of a man found in the refrigerated compartment of their father's tractor-trailer.

Juvenile officials said Monday that the boys, ages 16 and 14, face charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed criminal action and felonious restraint. The charges were filed last month.

Six other people also have been charged in the death of 20-year-old James William Boyd McNeely, including their father, Chester Harvey Jr., 38, and another son, Chad Harvey, 19.

Jeff Rosanswank, the attorney representing the 16-year-old, confirmed Monday that his client and the younger boy are Chester Harvey's sons. But neither he nor Bruce McKinnon, the chief juvenile officer in Audrain County Circuit Court's Juvenile Division, would identify the teens by name because they have been charged as juveniles.

A hearing has tentatively been scheduled for Feb. 4 on whether to move the case to adult court, McKinnon said.

In a court filing last month, authorities said a tipster told investigators Chester Harvey had killed a man, later identified as McNeely, after picking him up in his truck somewhere in California.

Prosecutors said three other men charged with kidnapping in the case — Robert Nicholas Allen, 52, Jackie Don Moss, 44, and Darrill Kirtley Lynn, 45 — took McNeely from Chester Harvey's home to a home in Farber and kept him there.

Chester and Chad Harvey retrieved McNeely and brought him back to the Harveys' home on Dec. 17, restraining him on a mattress in the basement, prosecutors said. The father and son told authorities Chester Harvey suffocated McNeely the next day with a trash bag while Chad Harvey and others wrapped wire around McNeely's throat, according to a probable cause statement.

Chester and Chad Harvey have been charged with abandonment of a corpse and face a hearing next week to determine whether they will be charged with first-degree murder.

Chester Harvey's 34-year-old wife, Angela Harvey, who is charged with first-degree murder, told investigators she was among those who held McNeely at gunpoint in the basement and took part in beating him, another probable cause statement said.

The tipster's call led investigators to the body on Dec. 22.

The Audrain County Sheriff's Department has said a standoff started later that day at Chester Harvey's home in Laddonia, where he held his wife and several children hostage.

Harvey surrendered the next day after releasing his final hostage, his 14-year-old son.

The 14-year-old and 16-year-old were arrested that evening and were being held at a juvenile facility, McKinnon said.

Kathryn Benson, one of the attorneys handling the 14-year-old's case, said she didn't know enough about the case yet to comment on it.

Rosanswank declined to comment beyond confirming that the suspects were related to Harvey.

Chad Harvey's attorney Tony Manansala also declined to comment, and attorneys for Chester Harvey and Lynn didn't return phone messages for comment.

No attorneys were listed in online court records for the other defendants.

 


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