Last week, we reported on the tragic killing of Ramon Smith and Jarron Moreland, both 21, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On April 14, four white people killed the two young men by shooting them, dismembering their bodies and tying cinder blocks to them so they would sink in a pond. WJLA.com reported, “Police arrested 22-year-old Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 43-year-old Johnny Shane Barker and the 16-year-old brother of Garcia-Boettler, who police say is the suspected shooter. Their mother, Crystal Rachelle Boettler, 40, has also been charged with accessory after the fact.”
Kevin Garcia-Boettler told police that he and his brother took the dead men to Johnny Shane Barker, 43, who helped them “dispose of the bodies” and clean the van. In addition WJLA.com reports Garcia-Boettler, “told police they removed both victims’ clothing and burned them in a barrel before dumping them in the water.”
According to the criminals, they shot, dismembered and sunk the bodies because during a gun sale they heard the sound of a gun being cocked. In response, the 16-year-old brother of Kevin Garcia-Boettler started shooting. This sounded unrealistic that someone would instantly shoot and kill two people because of the sound of a gun being cocked, especially when cocking a gun is normal for a gun sale. Furthermore, why dismember their bodies and throw them in a pond with cinder blocks? Sadly, dumping Black bodies in lakes, rives and ponds is a common practice in lynchings.
It was evident to me that the murder of Smith and Moreland was a modern-day lynching. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that a lynching is not just a hanging. As the Tennessee State Museum site states, “Lynching is the unlawful killing of a person, usually by hanging. Sometimes the victim was tortured— beaten or mutilated” and “the lynching might be done by a few or there might be a large group of people.” Nonetheless, according to the New York Post, prosecutor Greg Mashburn said he does not plan to seek additional charges related to race because “the evidence absolutely shows that this was not racially motivated.” Again, I found this peculiar, especially considering he felt comfortable making that statement so soon.
Therefore, after doing some research on one of the suspects, Kevin Garcia-Boettler, I discovered his Facebook page with a handful of photos. Two of the images include the n-word. One photo from December 16, 2014, shows a photo of Garcia-Boettler with a comment that reads, “Jr…sup lil nigger..” See the photo below:
Another photo from December 24, 2014, shows Kevin Garcia-Boettler with two other friends and one of the friends commented, “Too turnt my nigga.” See the photo below:.
Although Garcia-Boettler didn’t write the comments, clearly if he had an issue with the word or wasn’t using the word himself, he would have deleted the comment. I would hope that with this information, prosecutor Mashburn will not assume the crimes against these two young Black men were not racially motivated. Further investigation needs to be done, and until proven otherwise, I will call the murders of Ramon Smith and Jarron Moreland modern-day lynchings.
Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 22, faces charges of being an accessory to murder, desecration of a corpse and unlawful removal of a body. His 16-year-old brother is charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, desecration of a corpse, unlawful removal of a body and for having a gun after he had been convicted as a juvenile. The brothers’ mother, Crystal Boettler, 40, is charged with accessory to murder. Her boyfriend, Johnny Barker, 43, is charged with accessory to murder, desecration of a corpse and unlawful removal of a body.
See a photo of Ramon and Jarron below:
Our condolences go out to the families of Ramon Smith and Jarron Moreland.