The mother and grandparents of accused murderer Wesley “Lex” Leverett have been indicted as accessories in the death of Barry Cole, who was killed inside his small home at the edge of downtown McMinnville in February.
Leverett’s mother, Debra Daniels, 54, and grandparents, Dorothy Daniels, 79, and Charles C. Daniels, 82, were all indicted Friday by the Warren County grand jury on charges of accessory after the fact to murder and destruction of evidence.
Leverett was indicted by the same grand jury Friday on the charge of first-degree murder.
His mother and grandparents are accused of aiding and abetting the cover-up after Leverett allegedly killed Cole, a 55-year-old former Marine.
Dorothy and Charles were booked at Warren County Jail on Friday and held on $15,000 bond. Debra, also booked Friday, was being held on $35,000 bond. She picked up an additional charge of resisting arrest for an exchange with McMinnville officers Friday.
Police say Leverett, 25, stabbed and beat Cole to death as the two friends were hanging out at Cole’s residence across from Super Rama. Lawmen suspect the attack was triggered by Cole saying something insulting about Leverett’s mother. She had dropped her son off at Cole’s home earlier that evening after taking them to get beer.
Investigators believe Leverett’s mother was well aware her son killed Cole, but did not report the crime.
“She received a call from her son on Barry Cole’s phone with her son telling her that he had hurt Barry and that he was ‘gone’ and he wanted her to come pick him up,” the affidavit for search warrant revealed.
Prosecutors say it was Leverett using Cole’s cellphone to call his mother that provided the break in the case. Once phone records from the victim’s cellphone came back 12 days after the homicide, police called in both Leverett and his mother.
It was during her interview Leverett’s mother recalled what she saw the night of the murder.
“She went to Barry Cole’s home. He was lying face down on the floor,” the warrant revealed. “She then rolls him over and his throat had been cut and there were lacerations on his face.”
At that point she told police her son asked her to help load the body in her car, but she told him they could not do that. Instead, she said her son “cleaned up” the crime scene. They then went to her mother’s home for help.
Deborah Daniels told police that her parents, Dorothy and Charles, “took the clothes that the victim was wearing, along with the knife used to kill Cole, and one of the cellphones and said they would burn them and not reveal it to anyone,” Leverett’s mother reportedly told police.
A burned cellphone was found in a burn pile near his grandparents’ home.