Four people are accused of killing and dismembering two men in Oklahoma, then chaining their bodies to concrete blocks in a pond, The Oklahoman reports.
Prosecutors have charged a 16-year-old boy, his brother and mother, and the mother’s boyfriend in connection with the deaths.
On April 18, authorities discovered the bodies of Alize Smith and Jarron Moreland under 5 feet of water in a pond in Moore Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City. They had been reported missing four days earlier.
While the victims are black and the defendants are all white, investigators say they don’t believe the killings were a hate crime.
“We definitely explored that, and the evidence absolutely shows that this was not racially motivated,” Cleveland County prosecutor Greg Mashburn said.
Rather, investigators say the evidence indicates the slayings were the result of a gun sale that went horribly wrong.
The teenager charged, Brett Boettler, faces one count each of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, unlawful removal of a body, desecration of a corpse and having a gun after being convicted. He is in jail on a $5 million bond. His brother, Kevin Garcia-Boettler, is charged with accessory to murder, unlawful removal of a body and desecration of a corpse. The 22-year-old also is in jail on a $3 million bond.
Their mother, 40-year-old Crystal Boettler, has been charged with accessory to murder, as has her boyfriend, 43-year-old Johhny Barker, who also is charged with unlawful removal of a body and desecration of a corpse. Police believe the brothers had responded to a Craigslist ad from the victims, who were seeking to sell a gun.
Garcia-Boettler told police that he and his brother picked up Smith and then went to a grocery store, at which point Moreland went into the vehicle. Garcia-Boettler said he then heard a gun cock and his brother fire the gun.
The brothers fled when police attempted to arrest them, but they were captured after running about a mile.
Moreland’s mother told KFOR-TV she thinks the brutal crimes were intentional.
“To me, it’s like y’all planned to torture them,” she said.
[Feature Photo: Ramon Smith and Jarron Moreland/Facebook]