Grandson Charged With Homicide, Arson In Death Of 74-Year-Old Man

Jan 11, 2020, 9:58 AM | Updated: 11:10 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Utah man has been charged with murder and arson after police said he killed his grandfather and then started his house on fire to cover his tracks.

The man, identified as 28-year-old Maxwell Wolcott, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of murder, aggravated arson, aggravated burglary, desecration of a body and obstruction of justice.

Crews from the Salt Lake City Fire Department responded to the home at 717 East Logan Avenue, about four blocks south of Liberty Park, around 7 a.m. Friday.

Neighbors called 911 emergency dispatchers after seeing the flames. They told officials the homeowner was not accounted for.

“They reported an elderly male. Firefighters did a quick knock of the fire externally and then made entry into the home for an internal search,” said Captain Anthony Burton.

Crews found the body of 74-year-old John Peel inside the home. Officials said the cause of the fire was obviously suspicious.

According to the probably cause statement from the Salt Lake City Police Department said Peel was found with a knife stab wound in the chest.

At that point, Det. Greg Wilking said police took over the investigation.

Police found surveillance video that showed Wolcott’s vehicle leaving the home. When questioned, police said Wolcott admitted to going to his grandfather’s house with the intent to kill Peel.

Officials said Wolcott then drove away and came back to the home, doused his grandfather with lighter fluid and lit the fire.

Det. Wilking said quick-thinking firefighters were able to save enough evidence that police could make a case against Wolcott.

“(Crews were) vigorously fighting that fire, (but) they were able to preserve a scene that led to the discovery of the homicide,” Wilking said.

It wasn’t the first time Wolcott has had trouble with police. He pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in 2010, possession of alcohol by a minor in 2011, and unlawful consumption by a minor in 2012.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Douglas Stewart Carter prisoner...
SAM METZ Associated Press

Utah to challenge judge’s ruling overturning death row conviction

Utah plans to challenge a judge's decision overturning the 1985 murder conviction of a man who has been on death row for almost four decades.
21 hours ago
Pat Reavy,

Clearfield man faces capital charges in killings of grandparents

A Clearfield man accused of shooting and killing his elderly grandparents the day before Thanksgiving was charged Monday with two capital offenses.
21 hours ago
Lindon View Murdock Canal Trailhead where the fight between the two teens occurred....
Emily Ashcraft

Teen sentenced in connection with killing of 16-year-old in Lindon

A teenager was sentenced in connection with the murder of a 16-year-old Lindon boy in August.
21 hours ago
A teenager has been charged as an adult after police claim he killed another young person and confe...
Tavleen Tarrant, CNN

Police: Pennsylvania teenager confessed killing a girl on Instagram

A teenager has been charged as an adult after police claim he killed another young person and confessed on an Instagram video chat, asking for help disposing of the body
2 days ago
A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between W...
Ben Morse and Wayne Sterling, CNN

Iran wants US team out of 2022 World Cup after it changes Iran flag on social media

Iran state media has called for the US to be kicked out of the 2022 World Cup after the United States Soccer Federation changed Iran's flag on its social media platforms to show support for protesters in Iran.
2 days ago
Trent Anderson and his 27-year-old horse, Duncan during the parade before the car hit them....
Shelby Lofton

EXCLUSIVE: Car crashes through barricades, hits horse and rider during Christmas parade

A man and his horse are recovering after being hit by an alleged DUI driver during a Spanish Fork Christmas Parade Saturday night.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Grandson Charged With Homicide, Arson In Death Of 74-Year-Old Man