Person of interest in murder of 4 Oklahoma men is violent felon: cops
The man named as a person of interest in the grisly murders of four Oklahoma men who were reported missing last week before being found shot and dismembered in a nearby river had prior convictions for violent crime.
State records show that Joseph Lloyd Kennedy II — the owner of a salvage yard where the victims’ cellphones last pinged — is a convicted felon serving a 10-year suspended sentence for assault and battery.
According to a report by News on 6, the 2013 conviction stems from a confrontation between Kennedy and six intruders who broke into his business, A&A Auto Salvage, in 2012. Kennedy fired at the would-be burglars, wounding one.
He is now a person of interest in the murders of Mark Chastain, 32, his brother Billy Chastain, 30, Mike Sparks, 32, and Alex Stevens, 29, whose remains were recovered from the Deep Fork River over the weekend.
“We believe the men planned to commit some kind of criminal act when they left the resident on West 6th Street,” Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said at a news conference Monday.
After a Friday search of a neighboring scrap yard revealed blood evidence of a “violent event,” police interviewed Kennedy, but did not arrest him.
He has since disappeared and police believe he may be suicidal, Prentice said.
”Mr. Kennedy is a person of interest that we would like to talk to [again],” the chief added, noting Prentice was not a suspect.