October 11, 2010

Teen who killed family on Donaldson ranch goes free

Posted: 03:49 PM ET

(CNN) - A young man who was 14 when he shot and killed his family on a New Mexico ranch owned by newsman Sam Donaldson has been freed, a spokeswoman for the state's youth and families agency said Saturday.

Cody Posey had just finished the eighth grade when he was arrested on July 7, 2004, in connection with the slayings of his father, stepmother and stepsister.

He confessed to the slayings, but said he snapped after years of physical and psychological abuse. He said he fatally shot his father, Paul Posey, 34, stepmother, Tryome Posey, 44, and stepsister, Mairlea Schmid, 13, and then used a backhoe to bury their bodies inside a manure pile. FULL STORY

– Beth Karas, In Session Correspondent

Filed under: Case Updates

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dano   October 11th, 2010 10:32 pm ET

How can this be? He killed 3 people in cold blood. How was the 13 year old stepsister abusing him? I get the father and mother if what he says is true, but the stepsister, I don't get that at all.

Diane   October 12th, 2010 7:51 am ET

I'm glad this boy has a chance at life. I remember the story. As usual, people all around that place knew and saw what was taking place, and did nothing. When we witness a child in danger for years on end, we ought to be held accountable as well.

rosalie   October 12th, 2010 12:14 pm ET

After 14 years of abuse, Cody had to save himself . Family, neighbors and DHS failed him. Logic tells us that he didn't need to kill his sister but in his 14 year old mind, he did what he had to do.

Dee   October 12th, 2010 12:23 pm ET

His sister was abusing him???? Maybe she was going to tell that he had killed his father and stepmother?? Most likely – he had to shut her up so he wouldn't get caught. Should have been in jail a lot longer for her MURDER!!!!

RoseAnn   October 12th, 2010 12:43 pm ET

Who is going to be responsible for his next murder? If he killed them because of abuse..what was his excuse for killing his 13 year old stepsister? How did the 13yr old abuse him? omg seriously the system is really screwed up. A chance at life? are you kidding..the 13yr old didn't get a chance at life!!

Gail Snail   October 12th, 2010 12:51 pm ET

I hope he has received counseling for all he has gone thru.

MaryD   October 12th, 2010 1:28 pm ET

If he was abused it's sad that it happened but if this is the way his mind works what about the next victim?

sunflower   October 12th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

When you continually rat a person out to get better treatment by your parents, that is abuse if I saw it.

jjs mom   October 12th, 2010 4:49 pm ET

I remember this story and the amount of abuse it was proven this child had endured. The case was heart breaking. I hope he recieved counseling and has a real chance at life now. Good luck Cody.

rosalie   October 12th, 2010 5:10 pm ET

He was 14!!!!! He didn't have a history of being abusive or violent. He didn't kill for the fun of it or for money. It wasn't for revenge. He just couldn't take any more of the nightmare that he lived in. The choices he made that day were made by a boy trapped in hell. He's ok now and free.

VA_Jill   October 12th, 2010 7:32 pm ET

What is it people don't understand about rehabilitation and redemption? Some of the people who shout the loudest about being "Christian" are also the first to scream for revenge and locking a 14 year old up forever. It has been proven that the 14 year old brain is still incompletely developed, especially the part that deals with impulses. It is perfectly possible for a young person to do something horrible at 14 and, with the proper help, to be rehabilitated. This young man is judged by those who know him to be rehabilitated. I doubt he will kill again.

C Webster   October 12th, 2010 11:44 pm ET

What is justice? Where was justice in this case. A child is killed with a gun given to her to use to kill snakes by a step-brother who took that gun from her saddle bags, had already killed her mother and step-dad and then shot her once, then because she was not dead and was begging for her life, stuck that gun up to her glasses, over one eye and pulled the trigger point blank. Then to top off Posey's killing spree, he drug this little girl out to a backhoe along with the parents and dumped all three into a manure pile, stole Sam Donaldson's pickup and drove into Hondo, NM to party with his teenage buddies, staying overnight at one of his friend's houses while these three bodies lay in manure, animals left unattended, and Posey lying about how he got time off from chores and how he was allowed to drive Sam Donaldson's pickup, even though he wrecked it on the drive over to Hondo.

Now, if you feel sorry for this monster then you had better go look at yourself in the mirror and figure out what you are!

Beverly   October 13th, 2010 1:59 am ET

I watched this trial from beginning to end and have never felt sorrier for anyone than I did Cody. Sure, he made a terrible mistake, but the abuse and beatings he constantly received from his father and the step sister adding to it by telling lies to his father to get him further in trouble brought it on. The ranch hands saw this abuse constantly, and if he reported anything to anyone, the beatings only became worse, and more often. Everyone failed him, and this is the result. Hopefully, he's had counseling and will receive more, if needed, and will be able to have a normal life, it that is ever possible.

Thrapston Cheeseley III   October 13th, 2010 8:50 am ET

Yes, the same system that puts to death innocent people because they won't pay for DNA testing. We had a case like this in Maryland freeing someone from Death Row when DNA evidence proved he could not have commited the rape/murder he was sentenced to die for. Don't be so quick to deal out judgment; the young man had more than several witnesses tie his parents to years of abuse.

Bus driver   October 13th, 2010 2:49 pm ET

I, personally, know Cody. He lived a life that no child should have to live. The state of New Mexico dropped the ball when the abuse was first reported...He did what he had to do for his own sanity..I wish Cody all of the luck in his future...God bless Cody and his future endeavors..

jttt   October 13th, 2010 3:08 pm ET

well this leaves room for some pot smoking kid so I guess that is ok eh?

Neece   October 14th, 2010 9:29 am ET

You sometimes people do things that no one will ever understand. This boy is the only one left to tell what was going on in his home at the time. I know children can be cruel and I know that from personal experience. No one deserves to die the way this family did but we all have our breaking point. Me and my sisters grew up with my grandparents. They were also raising a cousin of mine. My cousin was a little witch. She would do things and then lie and tell my grandparents my sister did it and my sister would be the one to get in trouble. No one knows what role his stepsister played in his abuse. For all we know she could have enjoyed watching him get abused. People are so quick to judge, but know one but him and god knows what happened. The Lord will judge us as harshly as we have judged others. I have not walked in this boys shoes so I do not know the extent of his suffering. Hopefully, he will get counseling or has already received counseling.

Plain Clothes Hero   October 14th, 2010 4:26 pm ET

He most likely killed the sister because she was a reminder of the stepmother. She was probaly the "little angel" in the family and that disturbed him too. It did not give him the right to kill her of course. I find it hard to believe that this man will be able to function in normal society. I think it is supicious that he buried the bodies and went to a party afterwards. It seems to me that if it was out of emotion he should of called authorites immediately.

NCMom   October 15th, 2010 9:48 am ET

Yes, he drove the truck and went to his friends' after the murders... a child who is abused day in/day out, once free, will not make rational, healthy choices. It's like the chains were finally removed after a lifetime of restriction.

I, too, hope he has received counseling to help him live a productive life.

janeyre   October 15th, 2010 9:48 am ET

Why didn't he run away? I wonder why he stayed there? Why kill the girl? Just a sad thing...

kristi   October 15th, 2010 5:08 pm ET

I believe the step sister did get him into more trouble. I grew up with a brother who was abusive and a Mom that thought he could do no wrong. I hated my life as a kid, I left home the day after I graduated high school. My child hood friends told me years later they were scared for my life growing up. I have never been close to my brother, nor will I be. I still have a stained relationship with my Mom, the Bible says to Honor thy Mother and Father. I am close to my Father, but will not ever be that close to the other two. I believe in forgive and forget, but forgetting is very hard to do. Life is hard, parents should not treat children differently, I am sure Cody hated his half sister as much as his parents. He paid his debt I pray you live a good life Cody. Possiblly write a book about his experience and why he snapped. I would buy it and believe it would be a good read.

Paul   October 16th, 2010 7:39 pm ET

He will kill again; it's just a matter of time.

Thozmaniac   October 17th, 2010 5:27 am ET

Just a matter of time until he kills again.
He may as well have gotten away with it, and when you pay little your crimes you tend to repeat them.

d   October 17th, 2010 9:09 pm ET

I sincerely believe this won't be the last we hear from this boy. I know a lot of people who have been abused as children, severely so, and feel bad about killing a rat thats tearing up their homes. There is no excuse for murdering 3 people. If he was truly concerned he could have ran away, called CPS himself or done one million different things. A sociopath murders three people without remorse. After less than 8 years for the murders he has learned only one lesson that you can get away with murder scott free. Teens have gotten similar time for selling drugs. What an outrage.

kathie   October 18th, 2010 5:59 pm ET

I too watched the trial and i feel the same way now that i did then and that is: I don't care how much abuse you have to take, but killing three people, including an innocent 13year old girl because, what?? she called him names? The only thing we know is what Cody said and a few of the ranch hands. I think the ranch hands just said what the media wanted them too. If that much abuse was being handed out to this kid, then why didn't these ranch hands man-up and help. But to believe that this person Cody, paid for his "mistake", you are sorely wrong. One person said he made a "mistake". My idea of a mistake is to spell a word wrong, but killing three people? And then, not have to pay the full price. He should be been put in prison for life. He wasn't made to ask for forgiveness for what he did, has he? No, I believe he has no feelings about it and will, in all likelihood, do it again if someone crosses him. He's older now. I wonder how many of you who think he just made a "mistake" would have him over to babysit their kids? Be careful what you say.

shecallsmepeanut   October 19th, 2010 3:58 pm ET

They shouldn't have let this young man go. I know that trauma can take a toll on you and your life but he killed some innocent people. Not everyone deserved to die that day. If he took their lives he should have been tried as an adult.

Paul   October 19th, 2010 9:22 pm ET

A chance to have a normal life? A chance to start over? How naive and ignorant. Remember he' a MURDERER. Now four years after his conviction (not even 2 years for each VICTIM) he gets out. What mentality do you think a person would have if that is the extent of the punishment they receive? This is our 'justice' system placing more concern on the well being of convicted criminals than upon the people they supposedly exist to protect. Someone else will undoubtedly be harmed because of this idiocy.

pete   October 21st, 2010 10:05 am ET

they beter watch this kid.hes going to are next john gaysey jeffery d.or h lexer.

nothanks   October 22nd, 2010 1:05 pm ET

If you don't understand how abuse can psychologically damage a person, ESPECIALLY a young child/kid who may not know how to process this form of virulent stress, then you will never understand this case.

It's that simple. I have extensive and completed education in this field. I can process why this young individual's actions are not rational, yet one of many completely predictable options he could have felt he had.

So he went to town to party. That doesn't make him a monster. That makes him 14 and unrepentant of the murder of people who were known to abuse him.
He buried them in manure. As aggravating a factor as this is, this too doesn't make him a monster because of his age and the family's abusive history.

Most adults are unrepentant when they feel justified. Why do we hold a 14 year old to an adult standard? There's a reason age plays a factor in legal accountability.

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