Three Oklahomans charged in Joplin woman's death

Friday, July 19th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) _ Three Oklahoma men have been charged with murder in last year's shooting of a Joplin woman in her home.

One of the men was a former boyfriend of the victim, and all three are believed to belong to a Tulsa gang, Newton County Prosecutor Scott Watson said Thursday.

Police had been piecing the case together since the body of Kendace DeCarlo, 23, was found just inside the front door of her home on July 3, 2001.

Charged with first-degree murder were Brian Lamel McDaniel and Cordell Cain, both 27, and Donald B. Overton, 21.

McDaniel, DeCarlo's former boyfriend, has been in custody in Springfield since being indicted May 2 by a federal grand jury on three felony charges related to alleged crack-cocaine trafficking in Jasper County.

Cain was arrested by Tulsa police Wednesday and was held on $1 million bond awaiting extradition. Overton remained at large.

Authorities want a chance to question Overton before identifying which of the three is believed to have shot DeCarlo, Watson said.

Watson would not discuss a motive for the killing. The murder weapon _ a .380-caliber pistol _ has not been found, but a different pistol and ammunition for both types were found when Tulsa police raided McDonald's apartment in that city on July 12, 2001, police said.

Joplin Police Detective Jim Wallace was present during that raid and has testified in Oklahoma that McDaniel denied to him that he killed DeCarlo. The detective also testified that McDaniel suspected that a fellow gang member named ``Mad Dog'' may have been responsible and that he believed DeCarlo had been cheating on him with ``Mad Dog.''

The same federal grand jury that indicted McDaniel for alleged drug dealing indicted Thomas Demetrius Smith, 29, also known as ``Mad Dog,'' in May. He was charged with the December 1999 murders of Paris Darnell Harbin, 20, and Chandy L. Plumb, 25, in a Joplin apartment house.