Police: Grandson stole purple heart recipient's medals after double homicide

Police: Grandson stole purple heart recipient's medals after double homicide
Cody W. Booth (Provided by Dearborn County Prosecutor's Office)
Cody W. Booth (Provided by Dearborn County Prosecutor's Office)

AURORA, IN (FOX19) - Disturbing new details have been released in the homicides of a Purple Heart recipient and his daughter.

Among the items Cody W. Booth is accused of taking from Walter Bryant Jr., 78, and Faith Craig, 58: Bryant's military medals and the wedding rings and jewelry from Craig's hands.

Booth, Craig's son, and his girlfriend Margie L. Thompson are charged with two counts each of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery in serious bodily injury and conspiracy to commit robbery, Dearborn County prosecutors announced Monday.

Craig and Bryant's bodies were found Jan. 19 when Dearborn County deputies went to their Aurora residence to conduct a welfare check.

An affidavit filed in Dearborn County paints the picture of the gruesome final moments leading up to the killings and what happened after.

Officials say Booth waived his Miranda Rights before confessing to killing his mother and grandfather.

Booth said he woke up feeling 'dope sick' and began thinking of ways to get more drugs to keep he and Thompson from becoming sicker.

Booth says he originally planned to strangle his mother with a belt from behind the chair she was sitting in, but claims he couldn't do it. Thompson, however, says that Booth did not strangle his mother because he didn't think the belt would fit.

Booth says Craig told him "you're getting ready to do something you don't want to do," to which Booth said he replied 'yes' and told her he loved her.

Booth says he then placed his mother in a headlock and covered her mouth while she screamed for her dad, that's when he and Thompson began to stab her to death.

Once Craig was dead, Booth says he told Thompson they had to kill his grandfather.

Officials say Bryant was upstairs getting ready to leave to have coffee with friends when Booth came into his room asking for money. Bryant told Booth he didn't have any money and advised him to detox.

Booth says his plan was to lure Bryant downstairs in order to kill him. As Bryant headed down the steps, Booth says he shoved Bryant as hard as he could.

Officials say Bryant landed on his head but Booth was not sure if he was dead. Both Thompson and Booth claim that the other then stabbed Bryant.

After killing Bryant and Craig, officials say Booth and Thompson began gathering items to pawn and buy more drugs in Colerain.

Among the items taken were $180 from Bryant's wallet, jewelry, Bryant's car, multiple guns, golf clubs, TVs, and a laptop.

Booth and Thompson left and came back multiple times before police discovered the bodies, court documents state.

Upon their first return, Booth says he placed a marker in his mother's hand and wrote a note implying he had been kidnapped. He also says this is when he and Thompson removed the knife from Bryant's chest, rinsed it off, and hid the weapon under the basement freezer.

During one of their return trips, Officials say Booth and Thompson tried to move the deceased bodies with the plan of dumping the bodies along with the car into the Ohio River.

Booth also unsuccessfully tried to cash a $1,000 check of Bryant's at First Financial Bank.

During one of their return trips to the scene of the crime to gather more things to pawn, Booth says Craig's husband Daniel arrived. Booth says he lured Daniel away from the home by calling him from a blocked number and claiming he needed to be picked up in Lawrenceburg.

Booth told police he was afraid Daniel would notify the police if he came inside the home and found them there.

Booth was able to get $50 and drugs for one of the TVs and $50 for a few golf clubs while staying with friends in Cincinnati, police say.

Officials say Booth told them he and Thompson drove to Somerset, KY to get money from his father, Ron Booth.

Booth says he learned that police had discovered Bryant and Craig's bodies on Jan. 20 so they stopped at a rest area and threw away items they had taken from Bryant.

Booth says he know police were onto them when his dad called him crying.

Officials say Thompson initially denied any involvement in the killings but later waived her Miranda Rights and confessed to police.

Family members of Bryant and Craig released a statement Monday saying they are heartbroken, calling Bryant a 'true American Hero.'

"His commitment to his country extended past his 21 years of active duty. We are humbled by his service to his country, we are thankful he was blessed in our lives," relatives said.

The family statement also thanked law enforcement, veterans groups and the community for an outpouring support in during their time of tragedy.

Officials say they were able to recover all of the items Booth and Thompson tried pawn were recovered. They also found the military medals along with other stolen items inside the car they took.

Law enforcement officers stopped them in Bryant's vehicle on KY 80. Booth was driving and Thompson was riding in the passenger seat.

Officials say they towed the car to the Indiana State Police Post in Versailles, IN.

Booth was arrested on an outstanding warrant for a Kentucky Parole Violation.

Thompson was taken into custody on Friday.

Booth remains in custody in Kentucky on unrelated charges and will be extradited to Indiana on the new murder warrant.

Thompson appeared in court on the charges at 1:30 p.m. Monday before Dearborn Circuit Court James D. Humphrey.

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