Capital murder charges were filed Wednesday against a man accused of beating and stabbing a Bennion man to death in his home.
Billy Joe Wilson, 28, was charged with aggravated murder, a capital offense, and aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, in connection with the death of Lowell Searle, 84.Wilson was arrested Sunday night after allegedly trying to use a credit card belonging to Searle at a Rose Park motel. Officers discovered that Wilson had several of Searle's credit cards as well as his driver's license.
Police reports indicate Wilson also used Searle's credit cards for a dinner at Burger King and to pay for a cab fare.
When police went to Searle's Bennion home to check on his welfare, they discovered him dead in his bed. He had been tied up, beaten and stabbed several times, court documents state. He had been stabbed twice in his back and a pocket knife was still sticking out of his chest.
An autopsy revealed that Searle died from a knife wound to the heart. Prior to that stabbing, he received several injuries that could have been inflicted by a hammer and other instruments found near his body, according to the complaint.
Members of Searle's family said other items were taken from the house, including coins and other personal property. Police reported that the house appeared to have been ransacked.
When Wilson was arrested, he had blood on his clothing. Wilson's fingerprints were also found near Searle's body, the charges state.
Wilson remains in the Salt Lake County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.