Suspected triggerman’s sister doubts credibility of key state witness

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INDIANAPOLIS – The sister of the man accused of pulling the trigger in a quadruple murder on Indianapolis’ south side last month said her heart goes out to the families of the victims, but it’s more important to get the right suspect and not simply the first suspect on investigators’ radar.

“He said those people were like my family,” Brandy Rackemann quoted her brother Cody as saying. “He said, ‘I would never hurt my family,’ and he started crying and my brother never cries. He does not get that emotional.”

Rackemann was talking about her brother’s initial appearance in court last week to face charges related to the February 20th drug house murders on South Parker Avenue. He faces another hearing Tuesday morning.

“Those people are like his family,” said Rackemann. “He told the judge, ‘That was our stuff in that house. Why would we rob ourselves.’”

In quoting her brother, Rackemann admitted that Cody was confessing to being a bodyguard at the drug house and profiting from the sale of narcotics.

“He’s admitting to that. He’s not a killer though he’s trying to make his point, ‘That was mine. Why would I have to steal it?’”

Rackemann was placed in the house and pulling the trigger by another bodyguard who the witness’ family and IMPD has asked the media to not identify out of fear for his safety.

“How are they going by the testimony of a guy who was working in a drug house?” asked Rackemann. “How did he supposedly try to save one of the victims but he’s still alive? And why did he sit there and watch all this happen?”

A relative of victim Hayley Navarro told Fox 59 News that the young woman was a girlfriend of the witness who also admitted such to detectives.

Rackemann also voiced unconfirmed doubts about a witness, first interviewed by Fox 59 News last week, who found key evidence in the case in a westside apartment dumpster.

Rackemann said her brother, Valencia Williams, Samantha Bradley and Anthony LaRussa were dining at a Greenwood restaurant prior to the killings. The witness said the Applebee’s alibi was cooked up before the robbery. The quartet was also spotted inside a shoe store at Greenwood Park Mall 40 minutes before the bodies were discovered.

The murder scene was a 10-15 minute drive from the mall.

Navarro, Walter Burnell, Jacob Rodemich and Kristy Sanchez were found shot to death.

A bag containing evidence stolen from the home and one of the suspected murder weapons were later found at the West Lake Apartments on Indianapolis’ westside.

LaRussa and Rackemann are cousins.

“It was his house and Anthony’s house but I mean basically they ran that house,” said Brandy Rackemann. “I don’t know why they would be guarding it.”

The witness told police LaRussa got him a job as a bodyguard at the drug house after the men met in prison a year ago.

Rackeman said her brother was recently released from prison on a burglary conviction and took up with his cousin and old partner Burnell at the South Parker Avenue house.

“Burnell was like their uncle. That’s family. Cody and Anthony would never hurt family. I mean, he raised them like they were his own blood.”

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