Local News

911 calls released in Marine murder case

Posted September 23, 2009 2:56 p.m. EDT
Updated September 23, 2009 7:19 p.m. EDT

— A 22-year-old Marine based at Camp Lejeune told a 911 operator that he wrote a suicide note explaining why he reportedly strangled his 21-year-old wife.

"It pretty much explains the situation," Cpl. Cody Daniel Richardson says in a recording of the call released Wednesday, the same day he was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps.

Richardson, of Carroll, N.H., was arrested Monday and charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of his wife, Jessy.

The 911 call. edited by authorities, doesn't indicate why he might have killed her and does not include any direct admission of guilt, but it does suggest that Richardson had also been planning to kill himself.

"I was," he tells the dispatcher. "I was going to follow through on it last night, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it."

The operator stays on the line with Richardson for the remainder of the call, instructing him what to do as a police officer arrives at the couple's apartment.

"I have no intention of causing anyone any harm," he says. "I see a police officer coming now."

Jacksonville police cited a state law, which states any names, victims or addresses are not public record, for editing the calls.

In a second 911 call released Wednesday, a man claiming he used to be in the military with Richardson said that Richardson stopped by his house and also confessed to the crime.

"I don't know if he's joking or if he's telling the truth, but he has completely freaked me out and told me that he has killed his wife," the caller said. "He had this note that appeared to be a suicide note, saying that he did it and that he had strangled her."

"He said he wasn't joking, and I said, 'Just get out of my house,'" the caller continued.

Jacksonville Police Chief Michael Yaniero said Jessy Richardson's death was the result of a domestic dispute and that, even though Cody Richardson confessed to strangling her, investigators are awaiting autopsy results on the exact cause of death.

Yaniero said it appeared that she had been dead at least 24 hours before investigators arrived at the scene.

Richardson, who is in jail in Jacksonville under a $1 million bond, was an anti-tank missile man assigned to Camp Lejeune's 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.

He joined the Marine Corps in August 2006 and was promoted to corporal in May 2008, after spending six months in Iraq.

Richardson was "administratively separated" from the Marine Corps Wednesday, meaning he has received an "other than honorable discharge," according to Camp Lejeune.