Sam Donaldson on the Slayings at His Ranch
July 8, 2004 -- -- ABC newsman Sam Donaldson says he has memories of an "all-American family" following the discovery of the bodies of a ranch foreman, his wife and her daughter on his New Mexico ranch — and the arrest of the family's 14-year-old son in the slayings.
The bodies of Delbert "Paul" Posey, his wife, Tryone Posey, and her daughter, Maralea Schmid, were found Tuesday on Donaldson's remote ranch north of Hondo, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department said. Cody Posey, Delbert Posey's son, was arrested at a friend's house Wednesday.
According to Sheriff Tom Sullivan, Posey was being held under a state youthful offender law on three open counts ofmurder and four counts of evidence tampering. Officials initially said he would make a court appearance today, but that hearing has now been scheduled for Friday.
District Attorney Scot Key has said Cody Posey would be tried in juvenile court but could face an adult penalty if convicted. According to Key, punishment for Posey could range from probation under juvenile law to 30 years in prison — the standard sentence in New Mexico for an adult convicted of murder.
"You would say they were the 'all-American' family," Donaldson said today on ABC News' "Good Morning America." "Paul Posey, hardworking. His wife, also hardworking and a delight to be around. The two children helped them. Her daughter, the sparkler, about 13, and Cody, quiet, always respectful to us, helped his dad out in the barnyard. You would say, before we discovered this, that this was the perfect family."
Massive Blood and a Grave
Donaldson and his wife, Jan, cooperated in the investigation and were never considered suspects, Sullivan said. They were in Sante Fe during the July 4th holiday weekend when investigators believe the slayings occurred. Donaldson came upon the crime scene Tuesday when he returned to his ranch and had not seen the elder Posey.
"I went over to the manager's house — the Poseys lived there — I walked up to the stoop, and there was a large red stain," Donaldson said. "I've seen a lot of blood in Vietnam, and I knew immediately what it was. [I saw] a pair of eye glasses crumpled on the porch and a cap. I looked through the glass door and saw heavy redness in there … I went in, [and there was] massive blood and swaths where people had been dragged across the floor."