A man arrested in connection with the slayings of four Oklahoma bicyclists’ allegedly told a friend that he killed and dismembered them because “they were stealing from him,” court documents show.
Disturbing details about the Oct. 9 killings were included in unsealed documents after Okmulgee County prosecutors requested that Joseph Kennedy’s bail be increased to $10 million.
He was initially held on $500,000 bond after being arrested in Daytona Beach Shores in Florida. Prosecutors said he fled to the state after police in Oklahoma named him as a “person of interest” in the deaths of Mark Chastain, 32, Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29.
Kennedy, 67, is being held at the Okmulgee County jail on felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, online records show, in connection with a 2012 shooting in Okmulgee. He has not been formally charged in the killings of the four men.
His attorneys declined to comment on the bail increase.
Prosecutors allege that the victims were killed on Oct. 9 at Kennedy’s scrap yard. Investigators started looking into him after they searched the yard and found evidence of a “violent event” on an “adjoining property,” Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said. He was interviewed by police before he left the state.
Court documents state that Kennedy parked his Chrysler PT Cruiser across the street from the scrap yard around 3 p.m. on Oct. 9, before the killings.
It is believed that Mark Chastain had his cell phone on him and it pinged at Kennedy’s scrap yard just after 5:30 p.m., the documents state. A deputy sheriff who lives in the area reported hearing gunshots around 6:22 p.m.
Security video showed Kennedy leave the scrap yard and walk back across the street to his car. Prosecutors noted in the documents that he was wearing a different shirt than the one he arrived in. Kennedy drove off but later returned in a truck belonging to his friend before leaving again.
The truck was later reported as stolen, according to the court documents.
Kennedy allegedly traveled back and forth from the scrap yard several times. Prosecutors said that at around 4:12 a.m. on Oct. 10, he left the scrap yard and drove a short distance to a vacant lot that borders the property. The video showed him leaving several hours later and turning down Sharp Road.
Court documents state the victims’ remains were found in the Deep Fork River on Oct. 14 and were visible from a bridge on Sharp Road. Bloodied items belonging to Mark Chastain were also found in the vacant lot, the document says.
A day after the remains were found, Kennedy arrived at a female friend’s house with a bicycle belonging to one of the men, according to the documents.
“The Defendant told [the friend] that ‘they were stealing from him’ and that he killed them and cut them up,” the documents say. “He then left her residence.”
Prentice has said the victims had been planning to pull off an undisclosed crime. Investigators based that belief on the word of a witness who said they were invited to go along as the man planned to hit a lick big enough for all of them,” the chief said, using slang for a profitable criminal act.
The district attorney’s office could not immediately be reached on Friday.