Three men charged with murder after man's dragging death

February 13, 2011 5:41:19 AM PST
Three men have been charged with murder after authorities said a 25-year-old was dragged to his death by a strap attached from his neck to a pickup truck bumper. Christopher Neal Beckham of Milford was found in a plowed field early Thursday. Hill County Chief Deputy Steve Girsh said it appeared a night of drinking and playing pool led to a dispute "that simply got out of hand."

The victim's brother, Marcus Alan Beckham of Milford, 25, Raymond Scott Harrington, 32, of Trinidad, Colo., and Raymond George Harrington, 23, of Granbury were arraigned Friday and held on bonds of $1 million each in the Hill County Jail.

Girsh said in a written statement that the victim's injuries were consistent with being dragged and were pronounced on his face, upper body, neck and hands. Extreme cold also may have also played a role. When he was found, Christopher Beckham was wearing only a T-shirt, blue jeans and boots.

The situation unfolded just after 8 a.m. Thursday, when the sheriff's office received a phone call about a body in a field just off a country road between Malone and Irene in rural Hill County, according to the statement. They later found the body. Authorities traveled to the victim's home, where they met Beckham's brother and the Harrington brothers. They were taken to the sheriff's office for interviews.

The Corsicana Daily Sun reported that the three men acknowledged being with the victim the night before, and that they had gone out to drink and play pool at a bar in Malone. After a verbal altercation, the men were asked to leave the bar and a physical fight ensued, Hill County Sheriff Jeff Lyon said.

Girsh said Marcus Beckham provided a statement that a strap was wrapped around the victim's neck and tied to the bumper of a vehicle owned by Raymond Scott Harrington. The victim was said to have been dragged for about 4 to 5 minutes.

A jail spokesman told The Associated Press on Saturday there was no record indicating the men have attorneys.

The body of the victim has been sent to the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas for an autopsy. A fund to help pay for funeral expenses has been established by family members at Prosperity Bank in Blooming Grove.