Murder suspects indicted

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2008

By Shavonne Potts
A Rowan County Grand Jury has indicted the three suspects in the death of Salisbury dentist J. David Boyd on charges of first-degree murder.
The grand jury returned a true bill of indictment on Monday for Candice Jo Drye, 23, Jonathan Barnett, 18, and Christopher Boyd, 21. The indictment was unsealed Tuesday. Authorities charged the three two weeks ago with killing the dentist at his Pine Tree Road home beside the Country Club of Salisbury. An employee found him, bound and strangled.
The indictment says that on June 26, the defendants “…unlawfully, willfully and feloniously and of malice aforethought did kill and murder James David Boyd.”
Relatives of the three have said Drye went to see David Boyd to get drugs, and that she was addicted to hydrocodone. Christopher Boyd, who is not related to the dentist, is the brother of Drye’s boyfriend.
Barnett is a cousin of suspect Boyd.
After his death, the State Bureau of Investigation said Dr. Boyd had been under investigation for illegally distributing drugs and
exchanging drugs for sexual favors, according to one affidavit.
Rowan District Attorney Bill Kenerly said Tuesday that so far no one else has been charged in connection with the crime. He said he’s talking with detectives daily as the investigation continues.
Drye, Barnett and Boyd were scheduled for a Wednesday probable cause hearing in Rowan County District Court. The grand jury indictment makes that hearing unnecessary, and the case goes to superior court. There it will be tried more than a year from now, after defense attorneys prepare their cases and the court system works through a backlog.
Kenerly said last week that the three suspects will be tried a year and a half to two years from now. Christopher Boyd’s attorney, Salisbury’s James Davis, agreed with Kenerly’s estimate Tuesday. “That time frame is not surprising,” Davis said in a telephone interview. He said it was reasonable, considering the backlog of cases.
He added that the District Attorney’s Office sets the trial calendar.
“He’s the one who makes the decisions on cases. Our DA works hard and he’s fair-minded,” Davis said.
Davis, who has tried many murder cases in his career, said attorneys have to put a lot of work into preparing for a trial of this caliber.
There’s researching facts and law and discovery to review, he said, naming a few of the steps.
“There’s so much at stake. It’s a great deal of work. It makes sense to take at least a year and a half,” Davis said.
He also said there is no rush. “We’re not trying to do things for
speed, but to craft justice.”
The defendants are expected to be arraigned during the next term of Rowan County Superior Court in August. They are all being held in the Rowan County Detention Center with no bond.