KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Bryon Harvey, 41, is in jail Thursday night and now charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of his step-father, Hal Cornell III.
According to a probable cause statement, police arrested Harvey at the International House of Prayer Wednesday night after they say he confessed to a church intern that he killed Cornell. Security officers who overheard the confession contacted police to respond to the church.
Prosecutors say 70-year-old Cornell was killed Saturday night from a blow to the head. His body wasn't discovered until Tuesday and was in the swimming pool behind their house.
Tuesday morning on a quiet south Kansas City street, police were called to the home in 109000 block of Poplar Ave. by a woman who said she found her husband dead in the backyard pool.
Investigators determined Cornell had been dead for at least a few days and immediately called it a 'suspicious death.' Court documents say Cornell’s wife had been staying next door with her daughter.
Police say Cornell had been staying at the home with his step-son Harvey. According to police, Harvey was arrested Wednesday night after walking into the International House of Prayer church and confessing to killing his stepdad to a church intern after speaking for about an hour.
Court documents state that Harvey said he and Cornell got into an argument Saturday night. Harvey told police Cornell pointed a gun at him, so he struck him with a hammer.
When Harvey walked away he heard his Cornell moving in the bushes, so he again approached, this time hitting him with a sledge-hammer.
Harvey told police he then carried the body to the back of the house and threw it in the swimming pool.
Cornell was found three days later by his wife, who had been called to the home to check on her husband after other family members said they hadn’t seen or heard from him.
An interesting fact, Kansas City’s South Patrol Police Department confirmed they were called to the home the night before Harvey says he killed Cornell on a report of a prowler.
Police say nothing out of the ordinary was found. Harvey is now in jail and being held on a $250,000 bond.