Dylan Deaton holds up his diploma from Hallyburton Academy after graduating about two years ago.

Search warrants unsealed Monday in the murder of a Rhodhiss teen say two people admitted to involvement in the death.

Tristian Claude Eugene Shoup, 20, of Granite Falls, and Matthew Dylan Buckles, 20, of 2581 Raintree Drive in Connelly Springs, were indicted Sept. 9 on charges of first-degree kidnapping and murder in the killing of Dylan Thomas Deaton, 19, of Connelly Springs, on Sept. 5, according to a previous News Herald story.

Ryleigh Elizabeth Waldrop, 28, of 725 Tron Ave. NW in Valdese, was indicted on a charge of accessory before the fact of murder, The News Herald story said.

Deaton was found beaten to death on Weaver Lane in Rhodhiss on Sept. 5, the story said.

Search warrants unsealed Monday revealed that Buckles and Waldrop both admitted to their involvement in the killing.

Buckles agreed to an interview with police and confirmed his involvement in assaulting, restraining and transporting Deaton, according to the search warrants.

Buckles also identified Waldrop as a suspect, the search warrants said.

Waldrop agreed to an interview, and admitted to observing the use of narcotics and watching Deaton be assaulted, the warrants said.

She confirmed that Deaton “had a bad trip” from mixing illicit substances, the warrant said. Other warrants said Deaton was saying the devil was in him, according to a previous News Herald story.

Waldrop also told police that she gave rope to Shoup and Buckles while they were beating Deaton, and that she had tried to tie his feet together but she was interrupted by Buckles, the warrants said.

She said Buckles asked her to move his truck to the front of his house to help get Deaton out of the house, the warrants said.

She also said that Buckles “live streamed” Deaton’s “tripping” and the aftermath of the assault, the warrants said.

At her first court appearance on Sept. 6, Waldrop told Judge Wesley Barkley she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I’ve turned my life around, I have a son, I have two jobs,” Waldrop told the judge. “I’m trying to get back to doing right on the right path but I’ve never done right in life. I’ve always screwed up, always done wrong. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with this. Truly.”

Buckles and Shoup are being held under no bond, according to the Burke County Police to Citizen website. Waldrop is being held under a $1 million bond, according to an official at Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility.

All three of the suspects have court dates set for Nov. 4, according to the North Carolina Judicial Branch website.

At the time of Deaton’s death, he had been struggling with substance abuse but was working on getting back on track, his father, Scott Deaton, told reporters last month.

Deaton’s parents honored his life with a memorial at Hildebran Gymnasium and passed out information on substance abuse.

“He was trying to get back on track. Of course, like anybody else, there’s always some problems coming up that he was dealing with.”

For more information on Narcotics Anonymous in the Morganton area, visit Call 1-855-227-6262 to reach the statewide line for Narcotics Anonymous.

Chrissy Murphy can be reached at or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphy MNH on Twitter.

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