Friday, June 01, 2001

Stabbing victim's husband had record

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        WILLIAMSBURG — In the beginning, Danny and Leona McCord's marriage appeared to be working.

        But within months of their December wedding, cracks started to show. Mrs. McCord began to see a side of her fourth husband she'd never seen — Mr. McCord had a violent temper. What she didn't know is that his temper had landed him in prison in at least two states and, by Mr. McCord's brother's account, made a lot of people dislike him.

        That temper may be connected with Mrs. McCord's fatal stabbing last weekend, and Mr. McCord's arrest. She was buried Thursday in Williamsburg Cemetery.

        “When they first got married, they'd come in hand-in-hand,” said Rose Addis, second-shift manager at Medary's Super Valu, where Mrs. McCord worked in the deli. “She just seemed so happy. At the beginning, I thought she'd found somebody — finally.”

        The couple met late last year at the store. He was a customer and they started chatting one night.

        But in late March, Mr. McCord was arrested and charged with domestic violence after Mrs. McCord told police that he pushed her and threatened to kill her and her 26-year-old mentally handicapped son, Ricky Clements.

        On April 2, she obtained a temporary protection order against him from Clermont Municipal Court.

        She implored authorities in her statement to police to “please help us,” and underlined the words.

        A month later, Mrs. McCord again filed domestic violence charges against Mr. McCord, accusing him of threatening to kill her and burn her Williamsburg house. He was also charged with violating the protection order.

        Both times he was freed on what court officials call a standard $2,000 bond. He also posted a $500 bond for charges of violating the protection order.

        Now Mr. McCord is in the Clermont County Jail on a $2 million cash bond, indicted by a Clermont County grand jury Wednesday on one count of aggravated murder and one count of murder.

        “For the last couple of months, we knew there was something wrong with her,” Ms. Addis said. “He'd call her here at work and bug her. We didn't know the extent of it.”

        Mr. McCord has a criminal record stretching back to the 1970s, court records show. He has served prison time in Ohio on a 1981 arson conviction, and in Georgia for a 1988 aggravated assault. He has also been convicted of theft, fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, and driving under the influence in Georgia. Other convictions in Ohio include criminal damaging and felonious assault.

        Mr. McCord grew up in Withamsville, the fourth of 10 children. Larry McCord said his brother frequently moved because he would say or do something that would anger those around him.

        “He's not a friendly fellow. If he wasn't related I probably wouldn't have even talked to him,” he said.

"Like two different people'
        Outside the small, cluttered gray-frame house on Main Street in this Clermont County town, David Clements wishes he'd stayed home on Sunday. Mr. Clements, Mrs. McCord's other son, moved in with his mom and brother in March to protect her. Now he takes care of Ricky.

        “It would have never happened if I was here,” he said. “I never thought it would get to this point.

        “I guess they thought they were in love. They were happy, then all of a sudden he'd just turn violent. He was like two different people.”

Marriage a surprise
        Bob Parr, who lives across the street from the McCord home, said Mrs. McCord had lived there about a year. Her December marriage was a surprise.

        “I didn't know Danny was part of the picture,” he said. “She seemed really happy. Then things started to go sour.”

        Beginning in March, Ricky Clements would sometimes bang on Mr. Parr's door, asking for help. That often meant trouble was brewing.

        On Sunday, Ricky was at the door again — pounding on it and ringing the doorbell incessantly.

        “As soon as we saw Ricky, we said, "Uh oh, (Danny's) back,'” Mr. Parr said.


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