Alternative suspects discussed

Jason Angus Reporter

January 26, 2014

Lead Detective Bill Perkins wrapped up his testimony in the Melissa Bost murder case on Friday, Jan. 24. Other law enforcement officers also gave accounts of the traffic stop that had defendant Manuel Daniel, Jr., worried about going to jail for possession with intent to distribute.

The Defendant’s Attorney, Perry Hudson, inquired about APD’s investigation into alternative suspects, especially the person said to be Melissa Bost’s drug supplier. The murder cases lead investigator, Altus Police Detective, Bill Perkins, confirmed that during his investigation, APD received information that Bost was in debt to person said to be her drug supplier, and said she was going to be cut-off. In turn, Hudson said that Bost supposedly threatened to inform APD of the man’s drug dealings, giving him a reason to harm Bost.

Perkins said they followed those tips and interviewed the man said to be Bost’s drug supplier, who at first said he was not a drug dealer, but later admitted he had sold to Bost on Feb. 27, 2012, and was not upset with her. Perkins saw no reason to continue to see the man as a suspect due to his interview, and also said that the man had fronted Bost a “substantial amount” of crack cocaine to move for him the night she was killed.

Perkins added that many suspects were eliminated based on the injuries found on the defendant’s hand matching too closely in relation to the victim’s broken off fingernails.

Perkins also confirmed receiving information that an incarcerated man had admitted killing Bost to others at the Jackson County Jail. The Defendant’s attorney said that a “jail house snitch,” provided that the said man was involved in Bost’s homicide, and that his bathtub was used to drain her blood. Perkins said he got a search warrant for the man’s home and found nothing that indicated a struggle, assault, or murder had taken place. He said that no signs of blood were found. Another source said, “the wrong person was arrested,” for the homicide. Perkins felt that no further interviews were necessary after conducting the search of the man’s home.

Perkins also confirmed that prior to Bost’s death there was a man who allegedly pulled a gun on Bost, but Perkins was unable to make contact. There were also several sources that pointed to a Texas man who was temporarily staying in Altus with a relative who left town on the day Bost was murdered, yet APD was only able to interview the relative.

Other Law Enforcement officers took the stand on Friday, including ADP detective Rusty Williams who assisted in the defendant’s home search with OSBI agents on March 30, 2012.

Williams stated he observed the glowing reaction of luminol throughout the residence as well as what appeared to be a hand print on the back of the front door that reacted to luminol. Williams testified that swab samples taken from stains on the carpet, walls, ceiling, and vacuum cleaner were taken to OSBI for blood testing, as well as portions of carpeting and wooden floor boards.

Williams watched OSBI test all of those items with a presumptive hemostick test, and that “blood was not detected.” OSBI determined no further testing of those items were necessary. Williams confirmed that chemicals such as bleach and ammonia can destroy blood evidence and interfere with obtaining a read on a hemostick. Photographs of the stained carpet showed no obvious signs of whitening due to bleach.

Blain County Sheriff Deputy Larry Thompson recalled the traffic stop he performed at 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 4, 2011 in Tipton. At the time, Thompson was a Tillman County Sheriff Deputy when he stopped Bost for her pulling out behind him with her high beams head lights on. Thompson soon learned that Bost and the passenger, Daniel, had warrants out in Jackson County.

Thompson said Daniel was handcuffed because he was “fidgety,” moving his hands around a lot, and not cooperating. Thompson remembered that Daniel dropped a cigarette to the ground and visibly stepped on three baggies of crack cocaine, which Daniel denied having knowledge of.

Because of the outstanding warrants, both Bost and Daniel were transported to the Tillman County Jail, and the car was impounded. Bost was charged for driving under a suspended license, and Daniel was charged with possession with intent to distribute. Bost’s bail was posted and she was released, while Daniel waited to be picked up by Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

The Tipton Assistant Police Chief also testified to the night of the traffic stop.