Details emerge in killings of 2 elderly Clearfield residents
Nov 25, 2022, 12:22 PM | Updated: 3:25 pm
(Photo courtesy: Nicholas Larsen)
CLEARFIELD, Utah — A 26-year-old Clearfield man accused of killing his elderly grandparents admitted to violently attacking the couple in their garage on Wednesday, according to a police booking affidavit.
On Friday, police identified the victims as Thomas (Tom) Walker, 87, and Janice Walker, 85.
Officers on Wednesday responded to a call reporting the deaths at 681 N. 1050 West shortly after 3 p.m., according to a statement from the Clearfield Police Department. The couple’s 60-year-old daughter, who also lives in the house, called police after finding her 87-year-old father and 85-year-old mother dead in the garage.
Police said the woman told officers she believed her 26-year-old son, Jeremy Dwayne Belt, was responsible for the deaths and that he was still inside the house. When police officers arrived, they were able to take Belt into custody without incident.
As police interviewed Belt, he said he arrived home at or around 3 p.m. earlier in the day and finding his grandparents “in critical condition in the garage,” according to the affidavit.
Later in the interview, police said they showed Belt video footage obtained from neighbors that showed Belt alone with his grandparents. Belt then stated he was guilty of killing his grandparents, the affidavit alleges.
He told officers that upon entering the residence he shared with his grandparents, he confronted them about “accusations he holds against them,” according to the affidavit filed in 2nd District Court.
After this, the arrest report says Belt’s grandparents gathered some belongings and went into the garage, where their vehicles were parked. Belt allegedly told police that he knew they couldn’t leave because he intentionally cut the motor wire to the garage door before entering the house.
Belt followed them into the garage and kicked both of them in the chest, the affidavit says, causing them to fall to the ground. Police say he told them he then grabbed what he described as a hammer and struck the hood of their vehicle, demanding that they respond to him about the accusations he mentioned earlier.
Then, police say he bludgeoned his grandparents with the hammer, hitting each of them multiple times before walking back into the home and going downstairs to look for a weapon.
According to the affidavit, Belt found his .22 caliber rifle, loaded a single bullet into the chamber and returned to the garage where he proceeded to shoot one of his grandparents. He attempted to do the same to his other grandparent before realizing that he needed another bullet, according to police.
The affidavit says Belt then went back downstairs to grab another bullet, returned and shot his other grandparent.
After this, Belt allegedly returned the .22 caliber rifle to the room he retrieved it from and grabbed a .30-06 rifle and ammo. He shut and locked the room and went into his bedroom, which is also in the basement.
When officers arrived on the scene, Belt “exited the home and surrendered to our officers without any incident or injury,” Clearfield Police Chief Kelly Bennett said.
Police said that while interviewing an additional family member of Belt’s who also lives at the residence with Belt and his grandparents, they noticed a black eye.
During Belt’s interview, he also admitted to kicking another family member in the face, causing a black eye, the affidavit says.
Upon searching the residence, police reported finding psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana, as well as drug-related paraphernalia, including pipes, bongs, marijuana grinders and glass jars in Belt’s bedroom.
Belt was booked into the Davis County Jail for investigation of two counts of aggravated murder, assault, transaction of a firearm by a restricted person, possession of a controlled substance, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal mischief.
A charitable account* has been set for the couple’s funeral expense at America First Credit Union, account No. 9125410 — “Tom and Janice Walker Charitable Account.”
*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.
KSL TV’s Josh Ellis contributed to this story.