Three men are accused of killing a convicted drug dealer to "rid the world of evil" and cutting up his body so police couldn't easily identify him, authorities said Thursday.
The trio lured Daniel Delfin, 19, to the town of Walton with the ruse of buying drugs from him, beat him on the way to one location before driving him to a field, where he was beaten again and strangled, Boone County Sheriff's Department spokesman Tom Scheben said. The men used a machete and possibly a saw to dismember Deflin, police said, and his torso and legs were found in the field. His other parts were likely thrown in a trash bin, authorities said.
Delfin had been arrested in May for trafficking heroin near Walton-Verona High School and was later convicted. He was on probation at the time of his death, Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force official Bill Mark said.
Scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing were Jeffrey W. Allen of Verona, 21; Anthony D. Baumgartner of Florence, 23; and Stephen E. Harkness, 22, of Verona. The three are charged with murder, kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. A call to the public defender's office in Boone County wasn't immediately returned.
Scheben said the men told authorities they killed Delfin because "they wanted to rid the world of evil." He wasn't sure exactly what they meant.
Delfin was reported missing Sunday by his sister, but police think he was killed several days earlier on Jan. 9. His torso and legs were discovered Monday in the field near where Allen lived with his mother, just across the river from Cincinnati.
During the search for Delfin, detectives received a tip that the three men were involved in his death. After the arrests, one of the three was "a little more" talkative, Scheben said.
"But then they started adding to it," Scheben said.
After being told that some of the parts had been taken to a trash bin, deputies searched the Rumpke Landfill in Pendleton County hoping to find more remains. Nothing was found, however, and detectives do not plan to return to the landfill because they have already made positive identification, Scheben said.
Delfin's family could not be reached for comment.
Police believe the three men removed the head, hands and feet to delay or prevent identification of the remains.
Along with the heroin trafficking conviction, Delfin had five other convictions for marijuana possession on his record.
In January 2012, he was also convicted of theft from an auto and receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail.
Baumgartner was charged in March 2007 with first-degree possession of cocaine, possession of another drug which was not specified and possession of drug paraphernalia, The Kentucky Enquirer reported. One of the drug possession charges and the paraphernalia charge were dismissed.
In March 2009, Baumgartner pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking in Kenton County and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of probation.
Also in 2009, he was charged with carrying a concealed weapon in Campbell County; that charge was later dismissed.
The paper reported that neither Allen nor Harkness had criminal records.
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