Confession in "bizarre" Wetumpka murder

Published: Feb. 17, 2012 at 2:26 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2012 at 7:49 PM CST
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Josh Caspari during his hearing Friday (Source: Wetumpka Herald)
Josh Caspari during his hearing Friday (Source: Wetumpka Herald)
Suspects - Cody Abernathy (Top) Josh Caspari (Bottom) - Source: Elmore Co. Sheriff
Suspects - Cody Abernathy (Top) Josh Caspari (Bottom) - Source: Elmore Co. Sheriff
The Cardwell home on Hickory Drive.
The Cardwell home on Hickory Drive.
Cardwell's car being removed from the Winn-Dixie parking lot (Source: Wetumpka Herald)
Cardwell's car being removed from the Winn-Dixie parking lot (Source: Wetumpka Herald)

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - Bond for two men arrested and charged in connection with the first homicide of 2012 in Elmore County is being greatly increased.

A bond hearing Friday afternoon saw Josh Caspari's bond increased from $250,000 to $750,000. Caspari, 22, confessed to killing 20-year-old Anna Cardwell.

Cody Abernathy's bond was increased from $15,000 to $50,000. The 22-year-old is accused of  hindering prosecution by lying to police.

Caspari is believed to have shot Cardwell out of anger at the belief that she was trying to keep a friend of from entering a relationship with him. Sheriff Franklin called the case "bizarre."

The sheriff described a scene of chaos inside the woman's home on Hickory Drive in the Flatwood community. Franklin says it appears Cardwell attempted to run through her kitchen to a back door. Caspari ran after her and prevented her from leaving the house.

Caspari, "pulled her back toward the hallway and kitchen area," the sheriff said. "We believe the evidence is going to show that the last gunshot was to the back of the head." Cardwell was shot a total of four times, three other wounds were in her back.

Investigators believe the murder was premeditated. Just a few days before the homicide, investigators say Caspari hid in a ditch near the woman's home. For an unknown reason, he decided not to act at that point.

SECONDARY CASE: Investigators believe both Caspari and Abernathy were involved in a home invasion case from last Fall. Weapons were taken in that invasion. An investigation by the Sheriff and Distric Attorney's office is ongoing.

Josh Caspari is an avid body builder, according to authorities. A search of his home late Thursday evening yielded steroids, at least one weapon and $21,000 in cash. It was not immediately known if the weapon was used in the homicide.

Cody Abernathy faces his own legal troubles. He's accused of lying to investigators on two occasions about his involvement. Sheriff Franklin said Abernathy dropped off Caspari at the Cardwell home on both occasions, but it was unclear if he knew what Caspari was planning.

Abernathy is charged with hindering prosecution, but additional charges could be upgraded if evidence warrants it.

Anne Cardwell was found by her mother at the family home Wednesday morning. Police converged on the quite community searching for her missing 2006 Honda Civic and the killer who was thought to be driving it.

Hours later, the Sheriff's Department recovered the vehicle in the parking lot of the Wetumpka Winn-Dixie grocery store. It was transported to Montgomery for evidence collection.

Cardwell was a student at Souther Union and a graduate of Holtville High School. Her former principal remembered her fondly, adding that she even babysat his children at one time.

WSFA 12 News will continue to update this story as more details become available.

Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.