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Accused Murderer Gave FOX 17 Scene Access, Laughed About Being Investigated

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 21, 2013

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. — Marion Conley shared his thoughts on Jody Ray Snyder on March 10 with FOX 17, inside the home Conley rented to the victim – and where Snyder had been found shot dead the night before.

“You couldn’t ask for a nicer guy,” Conley had said.

He didn’t shy away from pointing out the exact spot where Snyder’s body was discovered.

“You can take a picture if you want to,” he said. “There’s two puddles over there.”

10 days after that interview, Conley, 79, was arrested and charged with Snyder’s murder – and a probable cause hearing showed the efforts Conley went to to hide the crime.

Investigators say that Conley admitted to having an argument with Snyder a week before the murder because Snyder had trashed the Valley Township home Conley was renting to him – and Snyder wasn’t making his rent payments.

Conley told FOX 17 he’d been at the home on March 8, helping Snyder fix the place up before his eviction that weekend.

Conley was first questioned by authorities on March 9, the day Snyder’s body was found. When talking to FOX 17 about investigators coming to his door, he laughed.

“I was sitting in the chair there asleep,” he said. “They come about 12 o’clock hammering on that door. I thought they were gonna tear it off the hinges.”

“They took me to court to question me. They search my house, the dresser drawers, went out in the garage and searched and everything. Said they were all over that basement and the garage and the house looking for a gun.”

FOX 17 asked Allegan County Captain Frank Baker on March 11 if Conley was a suspect.

“Mr. Conley’s been cooperative and we have interviewed him and he’s been working with us trying to help us solve this case,” Baker said.

The gun investigators were looking for was a .22 handgun. A copy of Wednesday’s probable cause hearing obtained by FOX 17 shows Conley denied owning any weapon like that.

But in testimony from Conley’s wife read at the hearing , investigators learned Conley did in fact have a gun matching that description – and Conley’s wife says her husband told her to lie about the weapon if anybody asked.

Conley’s wife was at her husband’s arraignment Thursday, but declined to go on camera with any comment.

An Allegan County deputy also testified in the hearing that on Wednesday, Conley attacked him during questioning.

Conley faces charges of obstructing police and committing a felony with a firearm on top of the felony homicide charge. He’s being held on $765,000 bond.