Murder suspects in court

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 1, 2008

By Shavonne Potts
Two suspects in the murder of Dr. David Boyd made their first appearance in court Monday morning.
Meanwhile, law enforcement officers continued Monday afternoon searching the home of the local dentist, who was under investigation by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and State Bureau of Investigation for illegally distributing prescription drugs.
Boyd was strangled to death last week, his hands and feet bound, police said. An employee discovered Boyd dead at his home Thursday after he didn’t show up for work.
Later that day, authorities arrested Candice Jo Drye, 23, of 142 Delano’s Lane, Mocksville, and charged her with murder.
On Saturday night, police charged Jonathan Alexander Barnett, 18, of 6276 Old Salisbury Road, Kannapolis, with murder. Barnett’s mother brought him to the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office, authorities said.
The next day, the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team took Christopher Allen Boyd into custody at a Concord mobile home. He has also been charged with murder. Christopher Boyd, 21, of 873 Oakwood Villa Drive in Kannapolis, is not related to Dr. Boyd.
Investigators say the three suspects went to Boyd’s home at 9 Pine Tree Road in the Country Club section of Salisbury to find money. Some electronics were missing from the house.
Christopher Boyd and Barnett, who are cousins, appeared in court Monday via closed-circuit television from the Rowan County Detention Center. In a brief hearing, District Court Judge Charlie Brown informed the men of their rights and set a probable cause hearing for July 9.
At a probable cause hearing, prosecutors must show they have enough evidence to justify any charges.
Drye made her first court appearance Friday. She also has a probable cause hearing set for July 9.
Investigation, rumors
The Sheriff’s Office and SBI were investigating the dentist for diverting prescription drugs for illegal use, authorities confirmed Monday. That investigation closed with Boyd’s death, but SBI officials are assisting in the murder investigation, a bureau spokeswoman said.
Yellow crime scene tape still encircled the Boyd home Monday afternoon when investigators returned to the house, which sits in a cul-de-sac.
Detective J.D. Barber said Monday that investigators were still going over evidence at the home and the family had not been allowed back inside yet.
He said the family had been to the home, looking on as investigators continued their work.
On Monday, a group of people in a gold-colored van pulled up to the house and sat for a while before leaving. A woman was in the passenger’s side and children in the back. All but the male driver hid their faces as they left the area.
A large crowd attended a visitation for Boyd held Monday evening at Summersett Funeral Home in Salisbury. His funeral service will be held today.
At least three television crews parked their vans and set up cameras along Willow Street during Monday night’s visitation.
Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said Monday that his office had not been investigating Boyd. But he said that police have received complaints about the dentist since his death. Someone came forward saying the doctor harassed his daughter.
Boyd’s death prevents any investigation into that claim.
“We are not looking into that,” Wilhelm said.
The police chief also said his office is aware of rumors circulating. He put to rest a rumor that the doctor’s death was connected to erotic asphyxiation, which refers to the intentional cutting off of oxygen for sexual arousal.
Wilhelm said that claim was untrue.
Call for help
An employee who became worried when Boyd didn’t show up for work Thursday went to his Pine Tree Road home. The employee called 911 after she stumbled upon the grisly scene.
In the 911 tape released Monday, the woman describes to a dispatcher how she found David Boyd.
Crying, the woman tells the dispatcher she tried to get into the house through the side doors, but they were locked. She found the front door unlocked and says that, “something didn’t seem right.”
The dispatcher repeatedly asks the caller her location.
“Oh God,” the woman says.
The caller tells the dispatcher that she saw a cord wrapped around Boyd’s neck and that he was blue.
The woman says she’s going to be sick, but manages to give the communicator a little more information.
“It’s horrible. I can’t look at him…,” the caller says.
“Oh my God.”
The woman tells the dispatcher she had to go outside because she couldn’t look at Boyd.
She says that she heard water running in the bathroom. She went in, but at first didn’t see Boyd lying on the bed.
“I walked in ’cause it didn’t seem right,” she says of going into the bathroom.
She tells the dispatcher the bathtub was filled with water and a dresser drawer had been dumped into it.
“… I don’t know if he killed himself or what,” she says.
The dispatcher asks the woman if she wants to try to perform CPR.
The employee says she can’t look at him again.
After talking with the dispatcher further, the woman says she’ll call Boyd’s wife and hangs up.
Criminal history
Drye’s boyfriend, Stephen Boyd, told the Post Friday that Candice had been at the doctor’s home Wednesday night. He added that his mother, Opal Boyd, picked Drye up as she walked down the street from the dentist’s home. Drye’s stepfather, Jerry Cruse, said the dentist called him saying someone needed to pick Candice up because she was drunk.
The doctor’s wife and three children were at the beach when the murder occurred. Boyd had been there with them but came back Wednesday.
Stephen and Christopher Boyd have known violence in their family. Their mother, Opal Fern Boyd, was convicted in 1992 of participating in the beating death of her husband, Earl Boyd. She pleaded to a charge of accessory after the fact.
Prior to his death, Earl Boyd forced his family to watch as he hanged his children’s pet puppy. His body was found near Lake Concord in a secluded area.
But none of the three suspects has a violent criminal history. Their records show mostly traffic infractions.
Drye was found guilty of driving while impaired in June and is currently on supervised probation. She has a pending July court date for a charge of driving while license revoked. Drye was convicted in April 2007 of failure to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles of an address change. She was initially charged with driving while license revoked.
Barnett has a pending August court date for not possessing a driver’s license.
Christopher Boyd was charged in June 2004 with failure to wear a seat belt and not having an operator’s license. He paid a fine and court costs. Two months later, he was convicted on a charge of not having an operator’s license.
In May 2006, he was charged with possession of a malt beverage by someone younger than 21. He again paid a fine and court costs. In June 2007, Boyd was found guilty of fishing without a license. He paid court costs and fines. In August 2007, he was charged with speeding and letting his inspection sticker expire. In 2008, that case was dismissed.
He was found guilty in November 2007 of driving while impaired. The district attorney’s office dismissed a charge of driving after having consumed a beverage by someone younger than 21.
Jonathan Barnett’s MySpace page is covered with images of marijuana.
A video posted on the site shows Barnett and a younger boy huffing from an aerosol can and laughing at themselves. A second video shows Barnett letting someone shoot pellets from a paintball gun at his back.
Christopher Boyd’s MySpace page is set to private. It displays a picture of him drinking from a cup. An image of Hpnotiq, a brand of vodka, is at the top. A mood indicator on the page says he is “pissed off.”