Family members testify

Published 3:00 am Friday, September 12, 2014

Family members of the victims testified Thursday during the fourth day of testimony in the trial of one of the men charged in a 2011 double murder.

Brandon Ryles is one of four men charged with three counts of capital murder in connection with a double homicide that occurred in April 2011 in the Needmore Community.

Marquise McClaney and Troy McClaney both entered a plea deal with the state and pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder and agreed to testify in any related matters relating to the case. John Foster had previously entered a plea deal with the statement and pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder, Foster refused to testify in the August trial of Marquise McClaney.

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On Thursday, jurors heard testimony from Lt. Sonny Schrieber, a detective with the Troy Police Department, as well as Casey Adams, victim Mark Adams’ son, and Ann Folmar, victim Carla Smilie’s mother.

Landlord Linda Blake and neighbor Charles Green found Smilie and Mark dead inside of Mark’s residence on Tuesday, April 5, 2011.

Schreiber has been a detective for 31 years and was a part of the team that arrested Ryles, Marquise McClaney and Troy McClaney. Schreiber also conducted interviews with Ryles during the investigation.

Schreiber testified to having read Ryles his Miranda Rights and offering Ryles a chance to speak to an attorney. “At that point he advised me he wanted to speak to an attorney,” Schreiber said.

However, shortly after Schreiber left the room, Ryles requested to speak to him again.

“Generally, at that time, he stated to me he was at the scene of the crime with the other three individuals,” Schreiber said. “He said he was in the car and if I remember correctly, he stated he never got out of the car.”

Schreiber said Ryles again evoked his right to an attorney and at that time Schreiber did not ask him any further questions. Ryles, however, again asked for Schreiber shortly after Schreiber left the room.

Troy Police Department records its interviews with witnesses, and a tape of Ryles’ interview was played for the jurors.

In his statement, Ryles indicated to Schreiber the knife and the pump-action shotgun recovered as part of the investigation and believed used in the murders both belonged to him, but said he was unaware of what they had been used for. “Basically that night, I was just the driver,” said Ryles in his recorded statement. “We went out there to the property and they got out and went in. John went in first. John said, ‘I’m gonna go in there, talk to them and I’m going to get what’s mine.’”

Ryles also was recorded saying if he had been aware of what might happen, he would not have taken Foster to the property that night.

“I didn’t mind taking him where he needed to go,” Ryles said on the tape. “If I had known what he was going to do he wouldn’t have gotten in my car in the first place. I didn’t even know there was a girl in the house. I’ve already got enough on my plate. I didn’t need this.”

A repeating issues for the trial has been the spent shotgun shell found standing brass side down on the top of Mark Adams’ VCR. The item was logged, but no photos exist of the shell resting on top of the VCR.

Casey Adams testified his father would often leave an upside down shell in sight as a reminder that he needed to purchase more.

“He kept it strictly to reference when he needed to buy shells,” Casey said.

Folmar, Smilie’s mother, testified to having seen her daughter on April 4, 2011, saying she had left earlier that day, but returned later that afternoon.

“She said she was going to get some clothes, some pajamas to go stay with Mark,” Folmar said. “I told her they needed to stay there because the weather was going to be bad.”

Folmar also testified that Smilie had never spoken to her about hiding from anyone, but she believed she would have confided information like that to her.

The jurors broke for any early lunch, and were slated to hear from more witnesses Thursday afternoon. The trial will continue today in Courtroom B in the Pike County Courthouse at 9 a.m.