Columbia police arrested three men over the weekend in connection with the slaying of a 34-year-old Columbia man who was found dead Wednesday.
Felson D. Barney, 29, Rodney E. Cunningham, 30, and Travis S. Midgyett, 27, were arrested Saturday and Sunday on suspicion of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and first-degree burglary. As of Sunday evening, bond was set at $2 million each for Barney and Midgyett, and $2.5 million for Cunningham. Cunningham’s bond was higher because he was also arrested on suspicion of other crimes unrelated to the killing.
Police found Carlos Kelly, 34, dead in his triplex apartment in the 1300 block of Cynthia Drive in Columbia on Wednesday morning. An autopsy report revealed that Kelly died from a blow to the head. Capt. Brad Nelson said robbery was the motive for the killing.
Nelson said that police went to Barney’s house late Saturday morning and that he agreed to go with them to the Columbia Police Department for questioning. They arrested him at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Cunningham and Midgyett, who were already in the Boone County Jail after their arrest Thursday after a brief standoff with police on unrelated charges, were accused Sunday of being involved in Kelly’s death. Barney was in custody Sunday night in the Boone County Jail.
“I feel confident that the individuals we’ve arrested are responsible for this homicide,” Nelson said, adding that the three men might not be the only people to be arrested in connection with the crime. Police have received more than 100 leads so far, and more arrests are anticipated as the investigation continues, Nelson said.
Police found Kelly dead after a woman, who was an acquaintance of Kelly’s, called 911. There was no other information about the caller. Kelly was alone in the apartment when police arrived, Nelson said. Officers later interviewed four witnesses who said they were in the apartment when the crime occurred. One of the witnesses, an 18-year-old man, had suffered a stab wound to the leg.
Nelson said the people who said they were in the apartment at the time of the killing are not considered suspects in the investigation. Based on statements
from the witnesses, Nelson said the robbery appeared to have been planned and drug-related. He said items were stolen but declined to comment on what the items were. He said the
items had not been recovered.
Nelson said that the three men arrested all knew Kelly but that he didn’t know how well they knew him or the nature of the relationships.