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Man who killed 3 at Sam Donaldson's NM ranch freed

AP News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2010 9:43 PM
Man who killed 3 at Sam Donaldson's NM ranch freed

A man who was 14 when he killed his father, stepmother and stepsister at newsman Sam Donaldson's southern New Mexico ranch has been freed from detention.

Cody Posey recently was released from a state juvenile detention facility and was freed from court jurisdiction on Friday, the day before his 21st birthday, according to a report from KOB-TV in Albuquerque.

Posey was convicted in 2006 of first-degree murder in the death of his 13-year-old stepsister Marilea Schmid, second-degree murder in the death of his stepmother Tryone Posey, and voluntary manslaughter in the death of his father Delbert Posey, who was the ranch foreman.

Posey testified that he snapped on July 5, 2004, after years of verbal and physical abuse, but prosecutors described him as a ruthless killer.

The teen, who buried the bodies in a manure pile, was sentenced as a juvenile to remain in state custody until age 21. The court's jurisdiction then ended and he is not on probation.

His lawyer, Gary Mitchell, said he doesn't believe Posey is a threat. Neither Mitchell nor state officials will say where he is staying.

Posey will probably stay in New Mexico for at least the next few weeks and may consider moving out of state, Mitchell said.

Posey earned college credits while serving his sentence and wants to attend college, according to Mitchell, who said he knows Posey could have problems living in New Mexico and has suggested his client change his name.

A judge awarded $87 million to the victims' relatives earlier this year. The family's attorney said at the time that the award was largely symbolic and he did not expect his clients to ever collect. It would be available if Posey tries to profit from the murders, attorney Steven Sanders said.

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Information from: KOB-TV, http://www.kob.com

(This version CORRECTS Corrects name of stepmother to Tryone Posey in third paragraph)