Audrain County man gets life sentence for drifter's murder

Monday, April 11, 2011 | 6:37 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — An Audrain County man was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of probation or parole in Boone County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon.

Despite his attorney's recommendations, Chester Clay Harvey pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, armed criminal action, two counts of kidnapping and abandonment of a corpse in the December 2009 death of James William Boyd McNeely, 20.  

Harvey told the court he was "taking full responsibility of my actions and my decisions."

Harvey's son, Chad Michael Harvey, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in McNeely's death, was previously sentenced to life in prison, according to an Associated Press article

Chester Harvey, a truck driver, picked McNeely up in his truck in California, brought the man back to the Harveys' home in Laddonia and restrained him on a mattress in the basement. According to the probable cause statement, Chester Harvey suffocated McNeely with a trash bag while Chad Harvey and others wrapped wire around his throat, an Associated Press article stated.

Chester Harvey's wife, Angela Harvey, and two younger sons, then 14 and 16, were also charged with murdering McNeely, according to the article. Angela Harvey's next hearing is scheduled for September.

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