A Washington man told police he stabbed an elderly man, bludgeoned him with a sledgehammer and then set his house on fire because he believed the older man was possessed.
Jared Fudge was charged with first-degree murder and arson after police found the 82-year-old victim’s body inside the burning Okanogan County home, reported KREM-TV.
Police said witness descriptions of the arsonist’s cowboy hat and boots matched the 27-year-old Fudge, who was tracked to a tent in a nearby park.
Fudge had weapons with him, police said, and he had “black burned stuff” on his clothing.
Investigators said the victim, whose name has not been released, took out a restraining order against Fudge last year that expired in July.
Fudge moved his trailer onto the man’s property, but the land owner asked him to leave and eventually asked a court to intervene.
Court documents show Fudge once became so angry over their continuing dispute that he choked his own dog to death.
Investigators said Fudge admitted to stabbing the man with a machete and then lighting a fire in front of a wood stove, before going back upstairs to beat the elderly man with a sledgehammer.
Fudge then went to the older man’s truck and drank a beer, police said.
He decided not to drive the truck off the property because it was “too full of demons,” police said Fudge told them.
He walked back to his camp, washed his clothes and then hung them out to dry.
Fudge, who was also charged with burglary and theft of a motor vehicle, complained about Hillary Clinton and “haters” during the presidential campaign last year.
“Guess wat haters lol im back!!! this message is to all you haters out there go f*ck your selves u just made me stronger,” Fudge posted Oct. 29, 2016. “As for the election hillary dervers to die like the traitor and b*tch she is…. she is guilty for almost 5000 peoples deaths world wide and many other things…u can hate me love me or leave me…to those that are my family love you and thank you. but to those plastic pretenders i dont need you ty have a great day…”
Other social media posts indicate Fudge held anti-Muslim views, loved guns, and supported legal marijuana and the display of Confederate flags.
“It’s a flag it’s part of freedom. And your right as a citizen. Sod off,” Fudge posted July 1, 2015. “I wear one on my buckel u got a problem ? U mad bra. Cause I’m not … Vote for freedom not dum dum … Where are all our rights anyway ….uncle Sam? And stupid people shut up … Don’t erase history an say it didn’t happen…. It did!.. just cause I like a flag doesn’t mean I like slavery ..did u know weed was legal in the south it was only illegalized after hemp was found to be a threat to the cotton industry ..Now this may not be in order but it’s awfully close…if we don’t know and respect the past how can we learn from it…Or are we doomed to repeat it.”