Victim's son, girlfriend charged in double homicide near Aurora

Autopsies found stab wounds, blunt force trauma

DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. -- Cody Booth didn't tell police if he was thinking of killing his mother and grandfather when he woke up Jan. 17.

He did say he was "dope sick" that Wednesday morning.

Booth, 28, was thinking about drugs, according to an affidavit -- and how he could get more so he and girlfriend Margie Thompson didn't get sicker.

Walter Bryant and Faith Craig

At a jail in Somerset, Kentucky, not far from Lake Cumberland, police say Booth confessed: According to the affidavit, he told detectives exactly how he'd killed grandfather Walter Bryant Jr., 78, and mother Faith Craig, 58. He talked about how he and Thompson stole money and jewelry and military medals; how they tried to cover their tracks; and how they almost got caught before police brought them in a few days later.

Booth's birth mother died while he was still a baby. Christine Craig, Faith Craig's sister-in-law, said she and Booth’s father brought Booth home from the hospital together.

Then Faith Craig legally adopted him. She was the only mother he ever knew.

He and Thompson, 47, were charged Monday with two counts of murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery.

"It was just assassination," said P.G. Gentrup. Like Bryant, Gentrup is a military veteran and considered Bryant a longtime friend.

"It's hard to believe that somebody in a family that love him -- your mom and your grandpa can do so much for you, and you turn your back on them," Gentrup said. "It just shows how terrible the drugs are."

 

In court documents filed Monday, Indiana State Police Detective R. Grant Martin detailed what Booth and Thompson said in interviews with police:

The morning of the killings, Booth said, he crawled up behind his mother's chair with a belt in his hand. He planned to strangle her, he told detectives, but he couldn't go through with it.

So he went upstairs and got a butcher's knife from the kitchen.

He sat in his mother's lap, and he told her he was sick and that he loved her.

"You are getting ready to do something you don't want to do," Craig said.

"Yes," Booth replied. Then he put her in a headlock.

She screamed for Bryant, so he covered her mouth. She bit his finger.

Booth claims he told Thompson to get the knife, and she came over and "stuck" Craig a few times. Thompson claims they stabbed Craig once together, then Booth stabbed her another time by himself.

Deputies found her body in the chair in the basement.

According to the affidavit, Booth told Thompson he had to kill his grandfather, too.

During the first killing, Bryant was upstairs in the living room. He'd just taken out the trash and was getting ready to go have coffee with friends.

Booth told the detective he'd asked Bryant for money, and Bryant told him he didn't have any. Bryant also told Booth he needed to detox.

According to the affidavit, Booth lured his grandfather to the top of the basement stairs. Then, he shoved him "with everything he had," the detective wrote.

Bryant flew down, landing head-first on the bottom stair or concrete landing. Booth came down and rolled his grandfather over. Bryant made a groaning sound, so Thompson came over and stabbed him once, Booth said.

RELATED: Double homicide 'doesn't quite seem real' to family

Thompson took Bryant's wallet. It had $180 in cash. Booth took rings and other jewelry from his dead mother's hands.

They got dressed and headed for the city to buy drugs, Booth said.

Later, they came back to the home on Douglas Drive to get clothes and other items to sell. They grabbed Bryant's military medals and two shotguns, and took them to a pawn shop.

Booth told the detective "he put a marker in Faith (Craig)'s hand and wrote a bullshit note about them having Booth," implying he intended it to look like a kidnapping.

The knife stayed in Bryant's chest until that return trip, Booth said. He rinsed it and hid it under the basement freezer. Later that afternoon, they went to a friend's house in Cincinnati. Booth and Thompson tried cashing a $1,000 check that Booth wrote to Thompson on Bryant's account, but the bank wanted more verification.

At some point, Booth said, they made yet another trip to the house, raiding it for items to sell for drug money.

While they were there, Craig's husband Daniel pulled in the driveway. Booth told detectives he went downstairs, dialed *67 to call Daniel Craig and claimed he needed a ride from somewhere in Lawrenceburg. He said he was trying to lure Daniel Craig away from the home so he and Thompson wouldn't be caught that night.

Booth also told detectives he wrapped Bryant in a blanket and tried to take him upstairs, but he couldn't lift the body. He claimed the plan was to put his dead grandfather and mother into his grandfather's red car and dump it into the Ohio River.

Instead, they took Bryant's televisions and headed toward the Markland Dam, then toward Cincinnati "to avoid detection," according to the affidavit. At a friend's house in Cincinnati, Booth traded one TV for $50 and "a gram." On Friday, he bought more drugs.

Later, they pawned three of Bryant's golf clubs for $50.

That Friday afternoon, they drove to Booth's father's home in Somerset. Booth got $230 from his father, and they came back to Cincinnati to buy more drugs, the affidavit says. Then they spent the night at a Super 8 in Florence.

Dearborn County deputies went to the home Jan. 19 to check on Bryant, since he hadn't been seen for a few days.

Booth said he found out on the Saturday morning news that police found the bodies. So he and Thompson decided to "hit the road," he told detectives. They stopped at the first rest area in Northern Kentucky and threw away a checkbook, garage door opener and others of Bryant's property.

While they were driving, Booth said he knew police were onto them: He talked to his father, who was crying.

Police eventually caught up to them in Kentucky. Booth was driving his grandfather's red car, and Thompson was in the passenger seat. At first, she claimed she wasn't involved at all, then later claimed they stabbed Craig and Bryant together. According to the affidavit, she led police to the items they'd tossed out at the rest stop.

Booth is still at the Pulaski County Jail in Kentucky, where he's being held on a parole violation until he's extradited to Indiana. Thompson was arrested Jan. 26 in Indiana. At a hearing Monday in Dearborn County Circuit Court, a judge denied bond. Her next court appearance for a pretrial hearing is March 14 at 8:30 a.m.

Bryant served 21 years in the U.S. Army and retired as a master sergeant. They'd visit schools to talk with children together, Gentrup said.

"He'd tell these kids before they can have respect for anybody else, they have to have respect for themselves," Gentrup said. "You have to look in that mirror every day, and if everybody could look in a mirror each morning and say, 'I'm going to be a Walt Bryant today,' it would be a lot better world."

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