Trio of ac­cused mur­der­ers go to trail

Men charged with Jan­uary 2007 ‘body in the woods’ mur­der

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Tyler Smith

The trial of Christo­pher “Big Boy” Rozier, Xavier “Pretty Boy” Dyer and Wil­lie “Scooter” Dyer will con­tinue to­day fol­low­ing an ex­haus­tive first day in court Tues­day in which the pros­e­cu­tion called 12 peo­ple to the stand.

The trio is charged in con­nec­tion with the mur­der of Tony Richard­son on Jan. 29, 2007. Richard­son’s body was found off Ste­wart Road by a cou­ple out joyrid­ing on their four-wheel­ers.

Lib­erty Har­ris, who is also charged with mur­der in the case, tes­ti­fied af­ter re­ceiv­ing im­mu­nity dur­ing the trial from Judge Ho­race John­son. Her tes­ti­mony proved to be mud­dled and con­fus­ing as she re­peat­edly changed her story while on the stand.

The pros­e­cu­tion con­tends Har­ris, along with the three de­fen­dants, re­port­edly mixed rat poi­son in with Richard­son’s crack co­caine be­cause she be­lieved the vic­tim to be a snitch. As­sis­tant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Me­lanie B. McCrorey said when the poi­son did not achieve the de­sired re­sult, Xavier Dyer and Rozier took Richard­son into woods and shot him six times with a 9mm hand­gun.

On the stand, Har­ris ad­mit­ted to com­plain­ing to Rozier and Xavier Dyer that she be­lieved Richard­son to be a snitch, but de­nied she came up with the idea of us­ing rat poi­son.

“I was sit­ting in the bed­room and a con­ver­sa­tion came up about rat poi­son,” Har­ris said. “I said, ‘Ya’ll know what he like to do,’ cause ‘Big Boy’ was talk­ing about shoot­ing him.”

Har­ris said she did not fol­low the rest of the con­ver­sa­tion be­cause she was high on crack co­caine.

Later, dur­ing cross ex­am­i­na­tion, Har­ris ad­mit­ted com­ing up with idea of killing Richard­son.

“ OK, it was my idea, but that doesn’t mean they have to go out and do any­thing,” Har­ris said. “ But I didn’t kill no­body.”

The switch in state­ments was one of many dur­ing Har­ris’ tes­ti­mony. Through­out the tes­ti­mony, Har­ris con­tra­dicted her pre­vi­ous state­ments given to New­ton County Sher­iff’s in­ves­ti­ga­tors shortly af­ter the mur­der. When McCrorey re­minded Har­ris of the pre­vi­ous state­ments, her story changed to re­flect her orig­i­nal ac­count.

At one point, when asked if her tes­ti­mony Tues­day was the truth or if her re­port to in­ves­ti­ga­tors was true, she re­sponded, “A lit­tle of both.”

“ When they first did me, when they in­ter­ro­gated me, I was real tired and on drugs,” Har­ris said.

Erica Brookin, Har­ris’s niece, tes­ti­fied her aunt came over to her house a few days af­ter the re­ported mur­der and ad­mit­ted to be­ing part of the crime.

“Fi­nally she broke down and said that she had had her best friend killed,” Brookin said.

Brookin, who vis­ited Har­ris’ house the night Richard­son was re­port­edly mur­dered said she saw the vic­tim, Xavier Dyer and Rozier that night, but not Wil­lie Dyer.

Brookin ad­mit­ted, on a night pre­vi­ous to the al­leged mur­der, Xavier Dyer and Rozier had driven her and a friend out to the same road Richard­son was found on and threat­ened to kill them with a shot­gun and a 9mm hand­gun.

“They had us shook up like they were go­ing to mur­der us,” Brookin said. “They had us beg­ging for our lives.”

The two men later said the in­ci­dent was just to let her know they were “noth­ing to play with,” she said.

Har­ris’ for­mer house­mate, Larry Barr, also tes­ti­fied on Tues­day. Barr was for­merly charged in the case, but those charges were later dead dock­eted be­cause of a lack of ev­i­dence, McCrorey said.

Barr said he saw Richard­son with the de­fen­dants the night he was mur­dered, but he did not see them leave to­gether.

Along with charges in con­nec­tion with Richard­son’s mur­der, Rozier and Xavier Dyer were also charged with the sale of co­caine for an ar­rest on Feb. 1, 2007.

In her open­ing state­ments, McCrorey said in­ves­ti­ga­tors set up a drug bust to nab the men they only knew at the time as “Big Boy” and “Pretty Boy.” NCSO Sgt. Ty­rone Oliver and Cov­ing­ton/ New­ton Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit Com­man­der Phillip Brad­ford tes­ti­fied the op­er­a­tion in­volved a con­fi­den­tial in­for­mant ar­rang­ing a drug deal with the two de­fen­dants be­fore ac­tu­ally mak­ing the ex­change.

When the CI left af­ter buy­ing the drugs, Oliver said the Ford Ex­plorer driven by Rozier was pulled over. In­ves­ti­ga­tors were then able to iden­tify their CI’s money in Xavier Dyer’s pos­ses­sion based on the bills’ se­rial num­bers.

Rozier’s at­tor­ney An­dre Sail­ers ar­gued his client did not ac­tu­ally par­take in the ex­change while Xavier Dyer’s at­tor­ney Lee Sex­ton said in­ves­ti­ga­tors could not prove his client had ac­tu­ally sold the CI the drugs. Ac­cord­ing to tes­ti­mony, a third per­son in the Ex­plorer, who is not in­volved in the mur­der case, was the only oc­cu­pant to have drugs on his per­son at the time of the ar­rests.

The case is ex­pected to re­sume to­day at 9 a.m. and pro­cessed un­til the end of the week.

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