Maybe you remember Cody Posey? I certainly do. Cody Posey, a murderer, captured my heart in July of 2004.
Cody was in the eight grade when he was arrested for the murder of his father, Paul Posey, 34, his stepmother, Tryone Posey, 44, and his stepsister, Mairlea Schmid, who was 13. The murders took place on a ranch in New Mexico owned by the famous newsman, Sam Donaldson. Cody admitted to the killings, was convicted, and sentenced as a juvenile offender. He was 14 years-old. Now, at age 21, Cody is free.
I was one of the many sympathetic people who wrote Judge James Waylon Counts, asking him to be lenient with Cody. There are many of us who absolutely believe that Cody was being severely physically and psychologically abused by his father, and that his step-mother was about to sexually abuse him.
Cody lived with his family on the Chavez Canyon Ranch in Hondo, New Mexico. Cody’s family worked on the ranch and it was Sam Donaldson who discovered the bodies on July 6, 2004. Several Ranch Hands verified at the trial that Cody suffered years of physical and psychological abuse by his father.
One witness testified that Cody was “disciplined” with sadism, humiliation, and isolation, and that the boy did not have any avenue of escape, or a way to express his hell to anyone. Other witnesses stated that Paul Posey punched or slapped his son on a regular basis.
Ranch Hand, Slim Britton witnessed Cody being hit with a coiled rope and said, “I never saw a hand laid on him in love.”
According to Cody, the night before the killings, his father and stepmother told him to go to the master bedroom where they attempted to force him to have sex with his stepmother, Tyrone. When Cody coiled in disgust and said he wouldn’t do it, Cody says his father burned him with a heated metal rod. Cody felt that this would not be an isolated incident. Cody testified to having cowered in his room that night, and said, “I more or less lost my mind.”
The next day, Cody could not shake the disgust and serious psychological effects of what had happened the night before. Then, when his father slapped him during his chores, Cody took a gun from Marilea’s saddle bag, and shot each family member in the head. Cody told police, “I was thinking my world would be better and the whole world would be better without him.”
At Cody’s trial, his defense team presented evidence of incestuous pornography found on Paul Posey’s computer, and that Cody and his sister were at school when the incestuous porn sites were visited on the internet. In an attempt to mask the incest pornography, the prosecution ignorantly submitted family photos of a smiling Cody with his father, step-mother, and sister –as if to say he was a liar just because someone had a camera ready at family celebrations. I bet no one had a camera ready when Cody was being beaten, humiliated, isolated, or when his sick father wanted Cody to have sex with Cody’s 44 year-old step-mother.
Cody testified that he shot his step-sister so that she couldn’t tell on him, but I find this to be a backwards Freudian Slip. I think Cody shot Mairlea because she hadn’t told anyone what had been happening to him for so many years. I think he shot his step-sister because she hadn’t tried to do anything to stop the abuse, and that she most likely was treated well by the father and mother, and was not beaten or physically abused by them. I think Cody had years of subconscious rage built up for his step-sister because she was favored and didn’t help him.
It was reported that for months before the shootings, Cody’s step-sister was told by the parents to keep an eye on Cody at school. It is alleged that what she reported to them often got Cody punished. For all we know, his step-sister received rewards for spying on Cody and maybe she even enjoyed it. So instead of telling teachers or the police that her brother was being beaten at home for years, she became an extension of Cody’s abusers. To Cody, his step-sister was just another part of the abuse.
Even the father of Cody’s stepsister, Jake Schmeed, was quoted as saying he did not blame Cody. In an interview, Marilea’s father said, “Cody doesn’t need to be punished for this. He didn’t do it. Paul and Tryone did this,” and added, “Paul and Tryone made [Cody] do it, created him and made him the weapon that caused their death and Marilea’s death.”
Marilea’s father is a smart and truthful man.
As far as the allegations of sexual abuse, I believe Cody 100%. I remember the commentary that took place on Court TV and other media outlets during trial coverage. More than one reporter or so-called “expert” said they didn’t believe Cody’s claim of attempted sexual abuse. Why? Because it was a woman being accused. The commentators and psychological panel would say things like, “sexual abuse by a woman is rare.” I remember being infuriated by the ignorance and denial of people who are paid to go on television and give their “expert” opinions –opinions that are outdated, delusional, uneducated, and harmful. If Cody wanted to make up a story of incest to justify the shooting of his family, then he would have said his father tried to rape him, or that his father had been molesting him for years. He would not have made up a story that no one would believe. I feel that Cody Posey told the truth about his father and step-mother.
I don’t condone murder, but I feel that Cody felt trapped with no other option, and that years of rage and pain had ignited itself into that gun barrel. I feel that Cody knew that he would have to face either his father’s hot iron on his body, or to have sex with his step-mother. I think that Cody felt he had no choice. Cody is smart; he knew that if he tried to get help, people wouldn’t believe him if he told them that his father was trying to force him into sex with his willing step-mother. As a psychologically damaged victim, Cody felt he had no other way of escape.
Cody’s tormentors are gone and the threat of vile sexual abuse with his step-mother is over. Cody obtained a high school degree and completed two years worth of college credits while in custody. He had no disciplinary issues and became a mentor to other young boys while in juvenile custody. I feel that Cody will be a productive human being. I wish him the best and hope that one day he will be free and at peace about what happened to him and about what he did to get out of his hell.
“The West is kind of tight-lipped about things like that” ~Slim Brittan, cowhand on the Donaldson ranch