A Houston County grand jury has handed up a new indictment in the slaying of 18-year-old Sam Poss.
The new indictment, which will replace the November indictment, drops all references to a plastic bag in the death of the Perry teen and drops one count of felony murder against the teenagers accused of strangling him to death.
On Tuesday, a grand jury indicted Dakota White, 18, and Brandon Warren, 19, of Perry, each on one count of malice murder, felony murder, concealing the death of another, tampering with evidence and two counts of aggravated assault.
The new indictment, which was entered into the public record Wednesday, states that White and Warren caused the death of Poss “by ligature strangulation — by placing a cord around said victim’s neck.”
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The previous indictment said the two caused his death “by strangling him and placing a plastic bag over his head, causing asphyxia.”
A second count of felony murder included in the previous indictment but omitted from the new indictment included the use of a cord and a plastic bag in the assault against Poss that led to his death.
In addition to strangling Poss, White and Warren are accused of stabbing him. They then allegedly buried his body in a wooded area and concealed the knives.
District Attorney George Hartwig declined comment on the reasons for the new indictment, or on other aspects of the case expect to say that the case could go to trial in October.
An autopsy found that Poss died from asphyxia from suffocation from being strangled, said Perry police Capt. Heath Dykes. Contributing factors were stab wounds to the upper torso.
Poss was killed between 11 p.m. Oct. 14 and and 7 a.m. Oct. 15, according to arrest warrants.
When Poss first went missing over the weekend, his parents thought he’d been at White’s house fixing his computer, then decided to walk home but never arrived.
Authorities searched extensively in large, wooded area near a path that leads from the home White shared with his grandparents on Tucker Road to the Frank Satterfield Road home where Poss had lived with his dad.
His body was found in a wooded area off Branch View Trail, across from were it connects with Addison Lane.
Also, authorities discovered disturbing posts on Facebook pages that authorities said belonged to White and Warren.
Additionally, the pair allegedly had formulated a suicide pact at some time in the past.
“It is my understanding from what I know of the investigation that before they could get up the nerve and actually kill themselves, they wanted to see what it was like to kill somebody,” Hartwig previously said at a court hearing.
White and Warren allegedly had discussed killing a 12-year-old, but Warren “had some problems with killing someone that young,” and Poss was then chosen as the victim, Hartwig said.
White’s attorney, Angie Coggins, declined comment, while Warren’s attorney, Jeff Grube, could not be reached immediately for comment.