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Kingswood graduate murdered in North Carolina

CODY DANIEL RICHARDSON, accused of murdering his wife, Jessy Lauer Richardson, on Sept. 19. (Jacksonville Police photo) (click for larger version)
September 24, 2009
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — The Jacksonville Police Department (JPD) reports that Jessy Lauer Richardson, age 21, a 2006 graduate of Kingswood High School, and daughter of Sara Lauer and the late Harry Lauer, was allegedly strangled to death by her husband, Marine Cpl. Cody Daniel Richardson, age 22, on Saturday, Sept. 19.

Cody Richardson called 911 two days later to report his wife's death. He was charged with an open count of murder on Monday. That charge was changed on Tuesday, Sept. 22, to first-degree murder and his bond was set at $1 million in Onslow County District Court. According to the JPD, the couple was involved in a domestic altercation.

According to a press release from the 2nd Marine Division, Cody Richardson was an anti-tank missile man assigned to the 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune. He entered the Marine Corps in Aug. 2006 and was promoted to corporal on May 1, 2008.

Cody Richardson was deployed to Iraq from November 2007 to May 2008 and was awarded the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and National Defense Service and Global War on Terrorism Service Medals. The couple was married on May 21 immediately following Cody's return from his first tour of duty in Iraq.

Cody Richardson attended Cornerstone Christian Academy and Kingswood Regional High School, earning his diploma through Carroll Academy.

Sara Lauer, mother of the victim, called the Granite State News to say that though she and her family members are "devastated" at their loss, she also feels sorrow and compassion for Cody Richardson and his parents, Tracy and Dan. "I don't want people to hate him" she said of her son-in-law.

The couple visited their families in Wolfeboro just a month ago, and according to Lauer, "my daughter was happy…There was never any mention of being frightened of [her husband] then or in her regular phone calls home."

"This is a terrible tragedy," she continued. "None of us ever heard him express any animosity or hatred." She attributed his actions to psychological difficulty in dealing with "the horror of war…What ever happened, he lost control." She said he had received psychiatric attention after his first tour, but "he needed more help. I still love him."

Lauer is making plans for a memorial service with Rev. Randy Dales at All Saints Episcopal Church. She awaits release of her daughter's remains from Jacksonville, N.C.

Martin Lord Osman
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