INDIANAPOLIS – One suspect told investigators as much as $60,000 per day in drug sales were passing through a home on Indianapolis’ south side where four people were found shot to death February 20th.
The accused mastermind behind the robbery/murders has given a voluntary statement to police.
Kenneth “Cody” Rackemann, the drug house security man, and Valencia Williams are accused of being the trigger persons in the quadruple killings at 3432 South Parker Avenue.
Anthony LaRussa is accused of plotting the robbery which ended in death. Samantha Bradley is also accused of participating in the robbery. All four face multiple murder charges.
The owner of the home and the target of the robbery, Walter Burnell, was killed when prosecutors say Rackemann demanded money from him. “You’ll have to shoot me,” a witness overheard Burnell answer.
The witness, who said he worked as a security guard during 12-hour shifts at the drug house, said he watched as Rackemann shot Jacob Rodemich and Kristy Sanchez, who were in a back bedroom using narcotics, and Hayley Navarra. Navarra was wounded and pleaded for her life as the witness said he tried to protect her. Rackemann then reportedly called Bradley and Williams into the house, after failing to load a shotgun he stole from Burnell, and it was Williams who executed Navarra with her own .380 handgun to, “finish her off.”
The witness said Rackemann called Willliams because he had run out of bullets from his own gun.
Rackemann left $7000 behind in an undiscovered safe beneath the carpet in Burnell’s bedroom.
LaRussa was later arrested with more than $11,000 in his pocket which he described as a tax refund.
The witness said Burnell dealt methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and prescription drugs and it was the sale of a “zip of go fast”, street lingo for an ounce of meth, that brought Rackemann to the home.
LaRussa was a frequent partner in drug sales with Burnell, said the witness.
“LaRussa pointed out how Rackemann screwed up the robbery by not waiting for Burnell to get the safe open before robbing Burnell,” reads the Probable Cause Affidavit.
James McSchooler told Fox 59 News in an exclusive interview Monday, four days after the killings, how he discovered crucial evidence stolen from the Burnell home in a dumpster at the West Lake Apartments over the weekend and that detectives returned there on Sunday to search for more evidence.
The Probable Cause filed by the Marion County Prosecutors Office details how investigators discovered one of the murder weapons on the ice of the apartment complex retention pond where it was reportedly tossed by the suspects.
The witness said Bradley told him she threw bricks onto the ice in an unsuccessful attempt to break the surface and sink the gun.
The suspects gave varying accounts to detectives of their whereabouts before the murders.
Bradley told police that she had visited the Applebee’s restaurant at Greenwood Park Mall between six and seven p.m. the day of the killings with Rackemann, Williams and LaRussa and then hung around the mall.
The bodies were discovered on Parker Avenue at approximately 8:00 p.m.
Williams told police she went to the restaurant with the suspects at two p.m.
As first reported by Fox 59 News, Rackemann’s relatives claimed he was at the restaurant during the time of the killings and with two women at a hotel that night.
Minutes after our report Wednesday afternoon, the family shut down its Facebook accounts which included a plea to, “#FREECODY.”
Williams also told investigators her .380 handgun was stolen but not reported in December.
Bradley told police she saw Williams’ gun twice, on New Years Eve and again in January.
Rackemann first told police he was at the mall immediately after the killings but later claimed to have seen ambulance and IMPD patrol cars respond to the Parker Avenue house.
A Fox 59 reporter spotted a male who bore a resemblance to Rackemann at the murder scene that night.
Details in IMPD Homicide Detective Sergeant Leslie VanBuskirk’s affidavit match the account given by the witness, including evidence he left behind at an apartment and with Rackemann.
Fox 59 News discovered a photograph on LaRussa’s website from late 2013 that shows him and Rackemann posing with Burnell.
While heavily tattooed, LaRussa and Rackemann’s foreheads are unblemished.
During a court appearance earlier this week both men appeared to have fresh tattoos on their foreheads of four small circles.
Detectives would like to determine where and when those tattoos were applied and any conversations that would have occurred during the process.
The witness was assigned to work security at the Burnell house the night of the killings. He told investigators he met LaRussa when both were incarcerated in early 2013. “The witness said that he was released from prison later that year and met back up with LaRussa in Indianapolis,” reads the Probable Cause. the witness said it was LaRussa who got the him the job of drug house security.
Last October a Metro police officer arrested LaRussa at the Parker Avenue house in possession of a handgun and cocaine, yet he was free the night of the killings.
Buried deep in the report is the statement, “On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Detective Sgt. Leslie VanBuskirk interviewed and obtained a recorded statement from Anthony LaRussa with his attorney present.”
There are no other indications of what LaRussa may have told investigators about the robbery and murder of a drug dealer he allegedly put in motion by the bodyguard hired to protect him.