New details released in double homicide investigation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

New details released in double homicide investigation

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

Money, then a cover up. They could be motives behind a double homicide outside of Idalou. That's according to the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office which released new details Thursday.

Murder charges could be filed against the two primary suspects, Casey and Meredith Ledbetter, as soon as Monday. Sheriff Kelly Rowe says the married couple is cooperating with the investigation and have both confessed.

"We are working off confessions from both individuals," Rowe said. "It looks like at this point the two acted together, but alone."

Investigators believed the Ledbetters lured Joanie Parker, 49, to a vacant house outside of Idalou. While her body was found first back on May 24th, authorities suspect she was killed to cover up her son's slaying.

"We believe she was killed to cover up his murder," Rowe said. While investigators are still working to confirm specifics about the motives they believe robbery is what led to Derek Hale's death. Rowe said it looks like the Ledbetters tried to take money from Hale's mother who had a significant amount of cash when she went to the vacant home. No details were not released about what brought Parker to the property. It's still not clear what significance that area has for the players in this case.

Hale's body was discovered by the property owner on May 27th, just three days after his mother's body was found. Tall weeds and tires covered his body. Authorities have not released a specific time of death for Hale.

Deputies, acting on information they received from a handyman on the property, initially considered Hale a person of interest in his mother's death.

The Ledbetters possibly are connected to the Aryan Brotherhood gang according to the sheriff's office, but Rowe doesn't suspect Hale has ties.

Investigators believe all Hale knew the Ledbetters and that Parker knew the couple through her son.

Authorities continue to work on the investigation. Deputies plan to present murder charged to the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office Monday. It will be up to the district attorney's office to file the charges. Rowe said there is the chance this case could become a capital case.

Casey Ledbetter is behind bars for firearm possession by a felon. In Mr. Ledbetter's original warrant, it reads that 9mm pistol is missing from his home. On the scene of Parker's homicide, Rowe said that was the caliber weapon used to shoot Parker. That gun is still missing.

Meredith Ledbetter is behind bars on forgery charges.

Both are jailed on $100,000 bond.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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