New Info in January Murder of Sheridan Teen

SHERIDAN, Ark. - New information has been released about the Jan. 19 murder of a local teen.

An arrest affidavit in the case was filed Monday in Grant County Circuit Court.

The document details how investigators were led to Rusty L. Draper, 45, in the killing of Austin Moody, 17.

According to the affidavit, an H&R Model 58 "Topper" .410 shotgun was found lying next to Moody's body but his autopsy showed that he died from a gunshot wound to the head from a .38 caliber handgun. Draper was found to have owned both types of weapons.

The affidavit states that Moody began dating a girl in December who had recently broken up with Draper's teen son. It also states that Moody's father told investigators that Rusty Draper began stalking Moody's son after that breakup.

Homemade "spikes" placed in the girl's neighborhood that resulted in her mother and brother having flat tires are also mentioned in the document, which adds that Draper helped both of them when they pulled over after having the flat tires. Materials consistent with the "spikes" were found in a search of Draper's home before his arrest, the affidavit states. Moody also had a flat tire while on his way to school on Jan. 2 and told his father Draper had offered to help him but he refused Draper's help.

Investigators also detail how Draper told them he had been at his job in Pulaski County at the time of Moody's murder. He is reported to have told them he showed up for work only to find it was a scheduled vacation day and said he was unable to clock-in at work, so he returned home. It was discovered by investigators that Draper had requested the Jan. 19 vacation day himself, on Jan. 18.

A few days before his arrest, the affidavit states that Draper attempted suicide in a rural area of Dallas County. Deputies there reported finding handwritten letters inside Draper's vehicle that contained phrases that included "so much stuff went wrong with plans" and "they want me to take a lie [detector] test and "I not want to live in jail." Also reportedly found in Draper's car was a .38 round which "appeared to be a type that would be consistent with the projectile recovered from the body of the victim."

Draper was arrested a week after Moody's murder and is awaiting trial. He is being held at the Grant County Jail.

Moody was a beloved member of Sheridan High School's football team and also a 2008 World Champion in Taekwondo Sparring. 


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