Murder Suspect Tells Police that Victim Confessed to Murder

The man suspected in the death of Leon Young told police that Young confessed to killing another man moments before Young swung a knife at him. But he also said he intended to drive to Mexico after killing Young with a hammer and stealing his car.

That’s according to documents charging Jeffrey Neal, 21, on suspicion of second-degree murder in the case. Neal was presented with the charge Saturday and will remain held until a preliminary hearing in the case scheduled for July 8.

Young, 22, was found dead at about 11:30 a.m. on June 12 in 1800 block of 8th Street Northwest. Charging documents say that medical examiners estimated that Young’s head was hit more than 20 times with a weapon that could have had a “round blunt head.”

Neal told police that on June 7, he saw his roommate and “long-time friend” Young standing naked in his bedroom, shaking and holding a “Kunai” knife, documents say.

When Neal asked Young what was wrong, Young “eventually” told him “he had killed Delano.” Documents say that Neal said that he reached for a phone to call a friend because he was “puzzled and concerned” by the statement.

According to Neal, Young then turned to him and swung the knife at him, cutting his hand. Then, Neal said that he jumped back and grabbed a hammer that was on the table, documents say. After Young “lunged” at him again, Neal said he moved out of the way and hit Young in the head with the hammer, documents say.

Charging documents state that detectives later observed a minor scratch on Young’s left index finger and “what appeared to be a minor cut” on his left thumb.

When Young lunged at him a third time, according to Neal, Neal struck him with the hammer again and felt the hammer “penetrate” Young’s head. Young fell to the floor and Neal dropped the hammer in Young’s room, Neal told police.

After Young fell, Neal said that he “began to panic,” and carried Young’s body to the attic. Neal told police that in the attic, he placed a plastic bag over Young’s head to contain the bleeding. Then Neal said that he tried to clean the blood on the scene, was unable to effectively do so, and instead, took Young’s cell phone, car keys, debit card, and clothing.

Neal told police that he intended to drive Young’s car to Mexico, but ran out of money in Florida. Documents say that Neal said he bought a bus ticket home after his mother wired him funds.

On June 12, five days later, police found Young’s body after two witnesses went to the house to make repairs and “investigate a foul odor.” Young was found in the attic and several hammers, one with suspected blood, were recovered from the house, documents say.

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