BOONE COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - On Thursday morning, the three men suspected of killing and dismembering a Boone County man appeared in court to answer for murder charges.
Boone County Sheriff's Det. Jerry Rosen said the investigation began when he was assigned to investigate a missing person report filed by the family of Daniel Delfin, 19, on Jan. 13.
Rosen said a witness contacted the sheriff's office about a conversation she heard between Jefferey Allen, 21, Anthony Baumgartner, 23, and Stephen Harkness, 22. Investigators obtained search warrants and brought the trio in for questioning, where they admitted to beating, killing and dismembering Delfin because they didn't like that he was selling drugs in their hometown.
Rosen said the men bought a disposable cell phone and set up a meeting on the night of Jan. 9 to buy drugs from Delfin. The trio picked Delfin up on High Street in Walton and told him they needed to go get more money in order to get Delfin in the car with them.
The suspects told investigators that Harkness was driving, Baumgartner was in the front passenger seat and Allen was in the back seat with Delfin.
Once they got to Stephenson Mill Road, Allen began assaulting Delfin in the back seat with his fists and a metal bar.
When the group arrived at Allen's residence on Messmer Lane in Verona, they found Delfin to be unresponsive. At that point, Rosen said the trio pulled Delfin out of the car, and then Allen slit is throat and stabbed him in the heart.
They then drug him to a field, hid him in some brush, and left to go to Baumgartner's apartment in Florence to clean up.
Rosen said they returned to Messmer Lane the next day and, using a hatchet and knife, cut up Delfin's body. The dismemberment took place over several days, Rosen testified.
They then put Delfin's remains in plastic trash bags and discarded them in the dumpster of the Super 8 Motel on Dream Street in Florence. Police have only recovered Delfin's torso and legs, which were found on the property on Messmer Lane. Investigators searched the Rumpke landfill in Butler earlier this week for more remains, but were unable to find anything.
Baumgartner told detectives that they wanted to get information on where Delfin got his drugs, and then were going to go down the line of finding drug dealers and assaulting them. Allen told detectives he had been planning the crime for a week.
Joanne Lynch, Jefferey Allen's defense attorney believe it's too soon to rush to judgement. "Jeff is a young man. He is 22 years old. He's served his country in the past, and we're going to do everything we can to really find out what happened in this situation. I believe that there's probably a lot of facts that we didn't hear today that will come out in the process," said Lynch.
After the testimony, the judge decided to move the case over to the grand jury. A date has not yet been set.
Allen, Baumgartner and Harkness are still being held without bond on charges of murder, kidnapping, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with physical evidence in Delfin's death.