This is Cody Posey. Cody murdered his entire family when he was 14 years old; just a few years later, at age 21, he was released back into society. This is his story.
Cody had been living on a ranch in Hondo, New Mexico with his father, Delbert “Paul” Posey, his step-mother, Tryone, and his step-sister, 13 year old Marilea Schmid. From day one Cody’s life had been troubled; two electricians would later recall doing some work for Paul when Cody was approximately 18 months old; apparently baby Cody did something which his father didn’t appreciate, and Paul took his belt off. The electricians claim they had to physically pull the man off of this baby. Cody’s biological mother, Carla Burst, couldn’t stand with the abuse, she left Paul pretty early on. A bitter custody battle which stretched out over the years ensued; Carla finally gained full custody after Cody was beaten black and blue with a board by his father. The boy was thrilled to be with his Mama, but tragically Cody’s happiness would only last a few months; there was a roll over car wreck which took the life of Carla Burst. Cody begged and pleaded not to be placed with his father, but that’s precisely where he was sent.
From here on out Cody was abused each and every single day. The boy was beaten and forced to work 7 days a week on the ranch, from dawn to dusk, often without any food at all. But simple beatings and work wasn’t the worst of it, Paul was sadistic bastard; he used an electric cattle prod on his son, beat the child with a lasso, dragged him behind a horse, and this is only some of the physical abuse in which this child withstood!
Sadly Paul’s wife, Tryone, was no better, and even Cody’s stepsister was recruited to join in on the abuse; Marilea was rewarded for telling her parents whenever Cody did something his father wouldn’t approve of. Even at school Cody could find no solace; he was watched like a hawk by his perfect stepsister who was just slightly younger than him, and beaten for every and any little thing. For Cody there were no buddies to hang out with, no football teams to cheer for, no days spent riding around on his bicycle, no little girlfriends to crush on. Cody was nothing more than an unpaid ranch hand and his father’s whipping boy, and that’s it. Well, I say unpaid, but that’s not completely true: Cody was allowed ten dollars per month. Paul cashed the monthly SSI checks which Cody received from his mother’s death, yet the boy reportedly worked every single day for months with holes in his boots until he could save enough allowance to purchase a new pair of work boots! Yes, child protective services were called several times throughout the years – one source I claimed that the abuse was reported 7 times, but nothing was ever done. This is one of those cases where everyone dropped the ball.
All of this went on for years, and maybe the teen never would’ve retaliated but Tryone and Paul finally pushed the boy too damn far. You know that old saying: There’s only so many times you can kick a dog before he bites back? Well, Cody finally bit back. On the evening before the murders, 4th of July in 2004, Cody claims he was called to his parent’s bedroom; when he walked in to see what was required of him, Cody found his stepmother, Tyrone, laying completely naked in her bed. Paul ordered that Cody be intimate with Tryone while he watched, and his nude stepmother attempted to pull the teen to her chest.
When Cody refused, his father burnt him on the shoulder with a scrap of metal and a torch! The teen bit Tryone, an act for which Cody was burnt by his father once again. He somehow managed to get away from the situation, and the teenager ran to his bedroom where he claims to have cowered in fear the rest of the night. Paul and Tryone had been abusing this young man for years; they’d beaten, tortured, isolated, starved, and humiliated him, but Cody would not be sexually abused. In the morning the teen went out to perform his usual duties which included cleaning out the horse stalls. He wasn’t performing this “chore” quickly enough, and his father slapped him; Cody later testified that this was when “I more or less lost my mind”, it’s thought that the teen likely dissociated.
Cody grabbed a .38 Special out of his sister’s saddlebag, went into the house, and walked up behind his step mother who was nestled up on the couch with a book; the teenager blew a couple of holes through his female abuser’s skull. When his father and step sister heard the gun blasts they immediately ran to see what was the matter; the teen shot Paul, then he turned the gun on his sister. How could he leave Marilea alive when it had been her job in life to tattle on him for everything? When his family was dead, the teen loaded the bodies up in a backhoe, dumped them in a ravine, then covered them up with piles of manure. That right there says a whole heck of a lot about the way Cody felt, doesn’t it? He physically buried his family in actual crap!
Afterwords the teen discarded the murder weapon in a local body of water, drove his murdered father’s vehicle to the store for a bottle of Sprite, and then he went off to stay with a buddy until his arrest.
So the ranch was owned by a well known local reporter named Sam Donaldson, and by the 6th of July Sam had grown concerned. Paul had been strangely silent, so Sam and his wife decided to drive out to the property and see what was going on. Though Cody had buried his family in a crappy shallow grave, he hadn’t even attempted to clean up any of the blood or gore; after walking into the home Sam called police. Cody was promptly arrested and charged with triple homicide, crimes to which he quickly confessed; the three corpses were soon recovered.
Much of the abuse in which Cody had survived came out during trial; literally dozens of witnesses testified on the teenagers behalf. A ranch hand named Isabel Vasquez testified to having seen Paul hit Cody in the stomach and shoulder with a pipe for no reason whatsoever, he had watched Paul strike the teen with rocks the size of golf balls, and in the photo I’m enclosing Isabel is demonstrating how Paul used a large metal hook to punish Cody for not moving bales of hay quickly enough.
The physical and emotional abuse was backed up by many witnesses, but of course nobody had been around during the attempted sexual abuse. That said, there’s evidence which points towards it being the truth: during the investigation police discovered incestuous pornography on Paul’s personal computer. This type of porn, much of it parent/child incest, had often been frequented while Cody and his sister were at school.
Sandy Schmid was Paul’s second wife; the two had been married for 5 years while Cody was little. Sandy testified that Paul had always been abusive, and while she was living in the home she had done her very best to protect her stepson from his father’s wrath. Sandy also stated that Paul had always had a strange obsession with incest porn. Nearly everyone begged the judge to have mercy on this young man, including the biological father of Cody’s murdered stepsister; Marilea’s dad, Jake Schmid, testified on his daughter’s killers behalf! It’s a strange situation though, because Jake knew Cody pretty well; Jake had married Paul’s second wife, Sandy, so when Jake would pick up Marilea for weekend visits, Cody would come with and spend time with the stepmother. While on the witness stand Jake stated that he had always believed Paul to be abusive towards Cody, that he’d seen fear in the boy’s eyes more than once when it was time to go home; Marilea’s father also said that he did not hold any ill will towards the young man for what he had done, that he felt nothing but empathy for his daughter’s killer.
Now not everyone felt sorry for the teenager; the state claimed that Cody’s abuse was greatly exaggerated. Their case was that Cody had become angry after his father smacked him as punishment for not cleaning out the horse stalls quickly enough, and they submitted seemingly happy family photos as proof that there had been no ongoing abuse. One of the few witnesses for the prosecution was Verlin Posey, Paul’s brother. Verlin claimed that he had never noticed any abuse, nor had he ever seen any bruises on Cody. Verlin was seemingly pleased with the idea that his nephew would be spending his life in prison: “One lifetime in prison is a pretty small debt for three.“.
Cody was convicted of 1st degree murder in the case of his stepsister, 2nd degree murder for killing stepmother, and manslaughter in the case of his father. There were also 4 charges of evidence tampering; Cody was looking at life imprisonment. Apparently it was left up to the judge to decide whether the teen was sentenced as an adult or a youthful offender. After hearing all of the evidence in this case, the judge had mercy; Cody was sentenced to psychiatric treatment, and to remain in a juvenile facility until he turned 21 years of age.
While incarcerated the teen finished highschool and continued his education with college. On October 9th of 2010, which was Cody’s 21st birthday, he was released; today he is free, and that’s pretty much all we know. He’s blending in somewhere, presumably living amongst us.
In September of 2006 a couple of Paul’s relatives (I’m willing to bet it was his brother, Verlin) filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the creators of the video game Grand Theft Auto and Sony, among others. In a nutshell, they claimed that the teen had been trained to kill by the video game GTA.