Two local men involved in a long-term, often violent, relationship likely had contact with 11-year-old murder victim Levi Frady of Forsyth County. One of the men in a videotaped interrogation in 2013 claims to have knowledge of the gun used to murder the boy.
Frady was allegedly abducted less than one mile from his Forsyth County home on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 1997 while riding his bicycle. His body was found the following morning by deer hunters in the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management area, about 19 miles from his home and across county lines. He had been shot multiple times. His small body was dumped, face up, in a rain-filled pit, approximately 300 yards from the Etowah River.
The two men Marshall Danny Tallant, 61, of Forsyth County, and Tommy Albert Samples, 39, of Dawson County both have long histories of domestic violence and drug use, according to arrest records obtained from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s office.
On two occasions, once in 1997 — 39 days after Levi Frady was murdered — and again in 2013, Samples tried to kill Tallant.
Samples is currently serving 10 years for trying to stab Tallant to death the afternoon of Aug. 16, 2013 during what was called a drug-related argument at Tallant’s Church Road home.
Forsyth County Investigator, Mike Christian, conducted a videotaped interrogation of Samples after he was arrested the following day on Aug. 17, 2013. According to the video, it was during a fight that Samples says Tallant hit or stabbed him with the gun used on Levi Frady. “… (It was a) long gun,” Samples said. “Same one they shot Levi Frady with.”
“ …(It was a) long gun,” Samples said. “Same one they shot Levi Frady with.”
Christian, however, did not question Samples as to the whereabouts of the gun. Instead, he asked general questions about the murder to which Samples denied any involvement.
Posted here are both a five-minute segment from the video and the entire interrogation. Samples’ statement can be heard in the five minute segment starting at 4 minutes, 45 seconds (4:45), and in the longer segment starting at 47:04.
It is the first time this videotape has been made public.
Five minute clip
Following the interrogation of Samples, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office did not request a search warrant to find the gun that may have been used to kill Levi Frady, according to records obtained from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s office. It did issue a search warrant (#E0001481) to find the knife Samples used on Tallant. That warrant was approved at 6 a.m., Aug. 16, 2013, by Magistrate Judge Pamela D. Boles.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office did not request a search warrant to find the gun that may have been used to kill Levi Frady.
These records confirm only one search warrant was issued for Tallant’s home during the time period in question.
Two criminal experts interviewed for a Feb. 20, 2015 11Alive News report “Seeking Justice for Levi Frady” both said ballistic evidence is critical to solving the case.
“The best evidence they have right now, physical evidence, is the ballistics,” former detective Mike Brooks told 11Alive.
Criminal Investigator Charles Middelstadt felt similarly.
“We have ballistic evidence,” he said. “That’s really the only affirmative thing that can be linked to somebody.”
Why didn’t the Forsyth County Sheriff’s office issue a search warrant to find the weapon allegedly used to kill Levi Frady?
Samples and Tallant, a lovers’ quarrel?
In addition to drugs, the argument that led to the 2013 stabbing also appears related to what may be a lover’s quarrel.
“I was laying on the floor and he (Tallant) woke up and went to urinate in the toilet. So I got up to urinate in the toilet — to walk in there and to be beside him. He urinated and backed up in front of the mirror. So I went ahead and urinated,” according to records provided by the Forsyth County Clerk of Court’s office. (pg. 26 posted at the end of this news blog).
Tallant made two 911 calls to Forsyth County shortly after he was stabbed.
Tallant later stated in an audiotaped interview at the hospital that, just prior to the stabbing, Samples was lying on the floor in the bedroom.
“I hate saying this. It’s embarrassing … He had his clothes pulled off, playing with himself.”
During an interview conducted later at the hospital, Investigator Christian asked Tallant if his refusal to be intimate with Samples led to the stabbing.
Click for Photo Gallery of Tallant’s injuries, provided by Forsyth county Sheriff’s Office.
“I’m not interested no more,” Tallant said. “1997 right before we (inaudible) haven’t been intimate since.”
Tallant also stated that Samples accused him in the murder of Levi Frady.
“There ain’t no tellin’ what he’s coming out of his mouth with,” he said. “He said I had something to do with the Levi Frady murder.”
Both Investigator Christian and his boss, Sgt. Sebastian Strano, told Tallant they weren’t concerned about Levi Frady.
“We ain’t worried about that,” Christian told Tallant. “We ain’t talkin’ about that.”
Strano emphasized the point.
“Don’t worry about Levi,” he said. “What we’re worried about is what happened to you.”
Listen to the entire audio
Or, read the transcribed hospital audio by clicking the blue area
Samples and his attorney, David R. Savory, negotiated a guilty plea for criminal attempt to commit murder and aggravated assault. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with five years probation. Superior Court Judge David Dickinson was assigned to the case.
Why did Samples stab Tallant the first time in 1997?
It was Dec. 1, 1997 — 39 days after Levi Frady was murdered. Albert Samples stabbed Marshall Tallant more than 70 times at his Church Road home, causing disfiguring injuries. Court records show no questions were asked during a plea agreement as to the motive of the stabbing.
On Aug. 4, 1999, Samples was represented in court by attorney, T. Russell McClelland. Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Richard Gault presided.
“Your honor, the evidence would show that Mr. Samples and Mr. Tallant and a third individual were at Mr. Tallant’s home, and they were consuming alcohol and apparently — perhaps other drugs. They became highly intoxicated,” court records show.
“The third party passed out on the bathroom floor. Mr. Tallant was assaulted by the Defendant. Stabbed repeatedly with a small ivory handled knife. Apparently suffered extensive damage to his right ear. Was stabbed in the torso and had an extensive hospital stay. Apparently a punctured lung among other injuries”
The third individual, according to a source close to Albert Samples, was Tallant’s cousin, Jackson Carroll “Jackie” Tallant. Jackie Tallant also has a long history of arrests for drugs, violence, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon, according to Forsyth arrest records.
“Albert told me he overheard something Marshall and Jackie was talking about and he got mad,” the source stated. “I didn’t ask him if it was about Levi Frady.”
According to the 2013 hospital interview posted earlier in this story, Tallant refers to Samples as being the jealous type.
“You didn’t have a physical relationship with this guy (Samples), and that’s why he’s pissed at you?” Investigator Mike Christian asked.
“No, but I think he, uh, I know that when this happened 14 [sic] years ago, he was jealous …,” Tallant said, referring to the reason why Albert Samples repeatedly stabbed him — 39 days after Frady was murdered.
Samples’ mental health may be an issue
During his 1999 plea agreement, court documents also show Samples has psychiatric issues. Records were obtained from the Forsyth County Clerk of Courts office.
“I have a letter from Central State Hospital dated April 27, 1999, signed by Dr. Gary Carter … and it states in bold letters that Mr. Samples can become very psychotic and violent if he does not take his medication. He is currently competent to stand trial.” (At the time of the plea, Samples was taking medication).
While Samples was out on bond awaiting trial — and despite a bond order prohibiting contact with Marshall Tallant— he was arrested for “jointly burglarizing the Tate House in Pickens County” with Marshall, records show.
Representing the state was Forsyth District Attorney Philip Smith. The Pickens robbery charge was part of Samples’ negotiated plea. No mention is made in court of Samples’ bond order violation. He was paroled Jan. 6, 2003, according to a notice from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Meth most popular drug in Forsyth County
At the time Levi Frady was murdered, methamphetamine was the most popular and widely abused drug in Forsyth county, according to a May 13, 2001 Forsyth County News story.
Between January 1997 and May 2001, 347 pounds of drugs were confiscated by Forsyth law enforcement officials, including 43 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $1.9 million, 303 pounds of marijuana worth $724,000, and 1.4 pounds of cocaine valued at $60,650.
Marshall Tallant’s cousin, Jackson Carroll “Jackie” Tallant was arrested Feb. 6, 1998 — slight more than three months after Frady was murdered — with four firearms, more than $2,000 of marked bill from a controlled buy of meth by the Forsyth County law enforcement, and two containers of illegal alcohol.
Where’s the Levi Frady connection?
Levi Frady was allegedly abducted less than one mile from his Forsyth County home on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 1997 while riding his bicycle.
Law enforcement officials have confirmed for the first time that the bicycle Levi was riding had been moved and wiped clean of fingerprints. (See March 9, 2016 news post titled: Was Levi Frady’s Bicycle Moved After He Went Missing?)
At the time Levi was murdered, his mother Marilyn Parkman shared her Burruss Mill Road home with boyfriend Tim Tatum.
“Marilyn and Tim had friends — Marshall Tallant and a guy named Albert,” according to a source close to the family.
Divorce records filed in Forsyth County show Parkman had full custody of Levi and his twin sister, Meridth Laci Frady. Marilyn and Levi’s father, Milton Frady, were married Feb. 14, 1984, and divorced Feb. 2, 1989. The children were 3-years-old at the time of the divorce.
Was Levi sexually abused?
Shortly after Frady’s murder in 1997, a source close to his family, who had a friend that worked at the funeral home in Cumming where the boy’s body was taken, said the child had been sexually abused.
“She told me his genitals had been messed up real bad,” the source stated.
A former Dawson County law enforcement officer, however, denies any sexual assault occurred.
“I was there when they did the autopsy,” the source said. “He was not sexually molested. There was no DNA in his anus or on his underwear or clothing.”
Click here to read next news post: “Meth and firearms charges dropped against man questioned in Levi Frady murder”
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This news blog dedicated to solving the cold, nearly 19 year old murder of Levi Frady, 11. Many details and connections are being released here for the first time. Videos, audios and court documents are being made available here for the public.
All court documents posted here: Forsyth County Court records from the Dec. 1, 1997 stabbing
Forsyth County Court records from the Aug. 16, 2013 stabbing
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