Affidavit in Sheridan teen's slaying suggests accused killer stalked victim, attempted suicide | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Affidavit in Sheridan teen's slaying suggests accused killer stalked victim, attempted suicide

Posted By on Tue, Mar 7, 2017 at 4:42 PM

click to enlarge AUSTIN MOODY: More details in his death. - GOFUNDME
  • gofundme
  • AUSTIN MOODY: More details in his death.
Byron Tate, writing for the Sheridan Headlight, reports on release of new details in the shooting death earlier this year of Sheridan High School junior Austin Moody, 17.

He died from a .38-caliber shot to the head, according to documents released Monday night. The weapon has not been found, but the man now charged with capital murder in the death, Rusty Draper, 45, of Prattsville makes reference to weapons in evidence investigators found and a bullet of similar caliber was found in search of his vehicle He appeared in court this morniing, but a bond hearing was postponed.

Draper is the father of an ex-boyfriend of Moody's girlfriend, investigators said.

click to enlarge COURT APPEARANCE: Rusty Draper escorted into Grant Circuit Court. - BYRON TATE/SHERIDAN HEADLIGHT
  • Byron Tate/Sheridan Headlight
  • COURT APPEARANCE: Rusty Draper escorted into Grant Circuit Court.

Moody's body was found Jan. 19. He appeared to have been shot while preparing to go to school. A shotgun was found at the scene and it contained Draper's DNA, an affidavit for an arrest warrant said.

Documents filed in the case suggest Draper  tried to commit suicide because he didn't want to go to prison

Moody had told his parents in December that he believed he was being stalked by Draper after his girlfriend broke up with Draper's son. He believed Draper was responsible for a series of flat tires he'd experienced, all accompanied by sudden appearances of Draper. Others reported flat tires, too, from homemade welded spikes.

Draper, a welder for Union Pacific, said he went to work the morning Moody was killed but had been unable to clock in because he was scheduled for vacation. Investigators said they found no evidence Draper had tried to clock in and also found no evidence to support his contention that an acquaintance had seen him that day in North Little Rock. Wrote Tate:

The day after being interviewed by investigators, Draper was said to have called a union representative at Union Pacific to ask how much money his family would receive from Draper’s life insurance policy if something happened to him. Draper told the person that the police were questioning him about a homicide and that it was “about to get really bad ugly,” according to the affidavit.

Two days later, on Jan. 23, Draper was found in Dallas County, “the victim of an apparent suicide attempt,” stated the affidavit. At the scene a notebook was found in his vehicle that contained several handwritten letters. “In various places in the letters left by Draper, the following phrases were used: ‘I am back in a corner. So much stuff went wrong with plans. Cops search house. They look for my guns. Not find what the look for. I not want to live in pin.!! They want me to take lie test. I will not. I backed in corner not know how to get out of. I though about running but not could leave you. I not want to live in jail!’” according to the affidavit.
Investigators found a .38 caliber bullet in Draper's vehicle and reported on an interview of Draper's brother.

The brother said Draper had contacted him on January 20 and told him about the homicide investigation and that he, Draper, said he was going to talk to authorities. The brother showed investigators several texts that Draper had sent him. One of them read: “When my house burn you still got my bolt action 410! If anybody ask. To that, D.D. replies “Shut up.”

To which Draper replies “Delete.”


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