Man pleads not guilty to killing his 70-year-old stepdad

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The stepson of a man found dead in a pool behind his south Kansas City home has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

Bryon Harvey was arraigned Friday morning, where Judge Fehnestock entered the plea on his behalf.

Harvey is charged with 2nd degree murder and armed criminal action for fatally beating Hal Cornell and dumping the 70-year old man's body in their backyard pool.

Court documents say Hal Cornell, 70, died of blunt force trauma. They also say Harvey and Cornell reportedly had gotten into a fight, which resulted in Cornell’s death.

When Cornell’s mother called Harvey to inquire about him, Harvey allegedly lied to her and told her that he wasn’t home. She then called Cornell’s wife to check on him.

When his wife got to the home the two shared, court documents say she could tell by Harvey’s face that he wasn’t telling the truth when he said he didn’t know where his stepfather was. It was then that he took her out to the partially-filled swimming pool and showed her Cornell’s body at the bottom.

The documents go on to say that police were contacted by security at the International House of Prayer who said a man there had confessed to killing his father. When officers got to the scene, the man was identified as Harvey.

The 41-year-old being held on a $250,000 cash only bond. The judge decided not to reduce it during this hearing.

Harvey only spoke to ask about a public defender during the hearing that lasted less than five minutes.

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