September 30, 2008

Autopsy : Overbey was beaten to death

By Dean Manning

Investigators looking into the murder of Devin Overbey said he was beaten to death, but they have not established a motive for the beating that Dwayne Keith Riley and Jason Frazier allegedly inflicted.

Dwayne Riley, who is charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence and resisting arrest, and Terry Edward Riley, who is charged with tampering with physical evidence, appeared in Laurel District Court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing, after which Judge John Knox Mills ruled the case be sent to the grand jury.

Kentucky State Police Detective Millard Root, who led the Laurel County Major Crimes Task Force’s investigation after Overbey’s body was found on Happy Hollow Road Sept. 14, was the only witness to testify during the hearing.

In an interview with Terry Riley, Root said investigators learned that Overbey, Dwayne Riley and Jason Frazier had been at a party held at Terry Riley’s home on the night of Sept. 13. During the party, Terry Riley said he was walking around and at some point he walked around the corner of a building where he saw Dwayne Riley and Frazier beating Overbey.

“He (Terry Riley) said he saw Jason strike the victim twice with an object while Dwayne kicked Overbey in the face,” Root testified.

A preliminary autopsy indicated the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

“The autopsy also found a footprint on Overbey’s face,” Root said.

Root said investigators learned Dwayne Riley and Frazier along with another unidentified suspect, loaded Overbey’s body into the back of his truck. Frazier and the unknown suspect then drove away, returning a short time later.

“Terry didn’t know where they went,” Root said.

Root told the court, the task force was called to Happy Hollow Road when reports about the body were called in to the Laurel County 9-1-1 Communications Center.

“The body was found lying off in the grass face down,” Root told the court.

Because of the trauma to the body, Root said investigators determined it was Overbey by speaking to family members and through tattoos Overbey was known to have.

Officers began investigating a possible connection with the Rileys when an anonymous tip revealed the murder scene may be Terry Riley’s home on Fariston Road, Root said.

Investigators went to Riley’s and initially found no one there. However, when they returned, they spoke with Rebecca Riley. In speaking with Rebecca Riley, Root said investigators learned she had been woken up about 2 a.m. Sept. 14 by Terry Riley and Jason Frazier, asking her to follow them as they took a white pick-up truck to River Road in Rockcastle County, left it and attempted to burn it.

Root said police learned the truck has belonged to Overbey when they found the remains of several bills among the papers that had been placed under the seat in the attempt to burn the vehicle.

Outside Riley’s home, Root said police found a patch of ground that had been burned and scraped clean. When asked about that, Root said Terry Riley said his birthday party had taken place and there had been a fire and a keg at the party.

Root said Terry Riley did not say why that area had been scraped clean.

On Sept. 18, officers arrested Terry Riley at the Kentucky State Police Post in London. Later that morning, the Kentucky State Police Special Response Team was activated to execute an arrest warrant on Dwayne Riley, who was taken into custody at his home in East Bernstadt.

The grand jury will return indictments Oct. 17. Frazier, who was located and arrested in Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 19, is still going through the extradition process and has not been returned to Laurel County.

Dwayne Riley and Terry Riley remain in the Laurel County Detention Center. Bond for each has been set at $250,000 cash.