LOCAL NEWS

Clearfield man faces capital charges in killings of grandparents

Nov 28, 2022, 4:11 PM
handcuffs...
FILE

CLEARFIELD, Utah — A Clearfield man accused of killing his elderly grandparents the day before Thanksgiving is now facing capital murder charges.

Jeremy Dwayne Belt, 26, was charged Monday in 2nd District Court with two counts of aggravated murder, a capital offense; possession of a gun by a restricted person, a third-degree felony; drug possession, a class A misdemeanor; and assault and criminal mischief, class B misdemeanors.

A person convicted of a capital offense in Utah could receive the death penalty or be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors typically wait until after a defendant’s arraignment before announcing whether they’ll seek the death penalty.

On Wednesday, Clearfield police were called to 681 N. 1050 West on a report of a “possible homicide in progress,” according to charging documents. Officers were met by Belt’s mother who led them to the garage.

Inside the garage, police found the bodies of Thomas Walker, 87, and Janice Walker, 85, of Clearfield. Both victims were shot in the head, the charges state.

Belt was still in the house when officers arrived and he was taken into custody.

Detectives learned that Belt and his mother lived in the basement of the house and Belt’s grandparents lived in the upstairs area. Belt’s mother told investigators that her son “had repeatedly made statements that his grandparents were trying to harm him, and that she believed (her son) had been suffering from paranoia,” according to the charges.

The mother further claimed that her son believed “there were pinholes in his walls, and that people were looking at him through those pinholes,” the charges state.

Police also learned that prior to the shootings, Belt allegedly repeated his fear that his grandparents were trying to harm him, and told his mother “that he could feel an electrical current in the room and asked her if she could feel it. During that discussion, he became upset with his mother and (he) kicked her in the face,” according to the charges.

When questioned by detectives, Belt admitted to smoking meth the night before and taking other drugs that day, the charges state. He said he followed his grandparents into the garage and began striking their vehicle with a letter opener before attacking them, according to charging documents.

He then went into the house to retrieve a rifle, returned to the garage and shot his grandmother, went back into the house to get another round, and returned to the garage a second time and shot his grandfather, the charges state.

At the time of the killings, Belt was already facing a charge of aggravated assault resulting in serious injury, a second-degree felony, and was on pretrial release, according to court records. In that case, Belt is accused of attacking his girlfriend who he lived with and choking her until she was unconscious, charging documents state.

Prosecutors have requested that Belt be held at the Davis County Jail without bail, pending trial.

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Clearfield man faces capital charges in killings of grandparents