A killer beat his uncle to death with a hammer then threw his body in a pile of trash outside his home, police said.
James Bryant, 32, is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse in connection with the death of his 55-year-old uncle, Robert Bryant.
Police said Bryant lived with his uncle on Finch Road in Neosha, Missouri, where a neighbor reported finding Robert Bryant’s corpse in a pile of debris outside their house after noticing a strong smell of decomposition on Saturday. The body appeared to have been left in the trash for days, according to the probable cause affidavit.
According to the affidavit, the victim appeared to have beaten multiple times in the head with a blunt object.
Family members living in the area told authorities that they had not seen Robert Bryant since the previous Sunday.
Robert Bryant’s mother told police that he lived with his nephew and the pair fought constantly. Robert’s sister, who is the suspect’s mother, also said her son often argued with his uncle. A third relative who was not named said James Bryant had previously threatened to kill Rober Bryant and other family members.
James Bryant was already in police custody in Oklahoma when his uncle’s body was discovered. He reportedly told the undersheriff in Ottawa County that he had something to confess – then he reportedly admitted to the murder.
‘We were arguing and I took a black and gold hammer and hit him on the head repeatedly and drug his body outside and covered him up,’ Bryant told the detective, according to the affidavit.
Bryant told police he got angry when his uncle told him he was going to move out and take his disability check with him, according to The Joplin Globe.
He went on to tell police that he hit his uncle in the head with the claw side of the hammer. He said his uncle then fell on the floor between a bed and a closet, then he dragged his body outside to the trash pile and covered him up with plastic and a tire.
Bryant is expected to be extradited from Oklahoma to Missouri, although a timeline for his trial is unclear.