From left to right: Jacqueline Bell, Jodah Cain and Micus Ward
Jacqueline Bell's car, following I-84 police chase involving her great-grandson.
HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) -
Court documents unsealed in Washington County this week show a sledgehammer was likely used in the killing of 71-year-old Jacqueline Bell at her Cedar Mill home last month.
Detectives arrested 17-year-old Joda Cain, who is Bell's great-grandson, and his cousin, 19-year-old Micus Ward on aggravated murder charges in connection with the death.
Cain gave a statement to Oregon State Police detectives on the day they were arrested in which he said he and a friend, as well as Ward, were eating burritos downstairs at Bell's home when Ward got up to go upstairs.
Cain said he heard his great-grandmother screaming his name, so he went upstairs while his friend fled the home, according to court documents.
He told detectives he found Ward kneeling down over Bell while holding a hammer in one hand and a knife in the other. Cain, who said Ward was wearing his football gloves, left the room when Ward yelled at him to leave, and shortly thereafter Ward emerged from the room holding the hammer, he said.
Ward, however, told detectives an entirely different story.
He said Cain sent him a text message a couple days earlier saying his great-grandmother was worth $7 million and he wanted her dead, according to court documents.
Ward said he never touched any hammers and never entered Bell's bedroom, according to a probable cause affidavit. Ward told investigators he was asleep at the time in question and was woken up by Cain.
Ward alleges Cain then told him that he had his great-grandmother's car and said they should go for a drive, according to court documents.
Police said the two cousins tried to make their way out of Oregon in Bell's Lexus, but they were stopped by state troopers after a high-speed chase that topped 135 mph on Interstate 84.
Deputies believe the pair planned to drive to Kansas City, where they both recently lived.
At the same time Ward and Cain were detained in Eastern Oregon, deputies were preparing to enter Bell's home after being asked to conduct a welfare check by one of Bell's friends.
The two deputies found Bell's body wrapped in sheets in the bedroom. There were "obvious signs" of blunt force trauma and a sledgehammer was found near the bed, court document said.
Ward and Cain are both being held in the Portland area on murder charges.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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