A 32-year-old man reported finding a decapitated, dismembered, and “mummified” body in his backyard earlier this month but later turned himself in and told police, “I did it.”
LaVaughn Barnes has been charged with first degree murder while armed in the death of a handyman he said had done work for him on several occasions at his northeast Washington, D.C., home.
Police identified the dead man as Abdulio Arias-Lopez and said he had a bullet wound in the abdomen, according to WJLA.
Barnes and his sister, who owns the home where they both lived, called police on February 3 when Barnes said he found the body while cleaning out the backyard.
Court documents say investigators found blood stains in the basement, a machete, a large knife with a sheath, four folding knives, brass knuckles, a Taser, cleaning supplies, and paint, according to WTOP. And on Wednesday, Barnes presented himself to police and said the victim was a handyman he killed back on November 4.
The court documents say Barnes told detectives he met with the handyman, two days prior and became extremely angry — so angry that he decided he was going to kill the man and bought a taser. On the day of the murder, he said he was in the kitchen while Arias-Lopez was preparing to pain the room and was suddenly overcome by rage for no apparent reason. He fired the taser at the man’s head.
The handyman hit the floor, and, Barnes said, a cut opened on his head. “Why would you do this to me?” he said Arias-Lopez asked.
Then, according to the court documents, he punched and kicked the handyman and dragged him downstairs, where he stabbed him in the the buttocks twice. At a hardware store, he bought an ax, which he used to cut off Arias-Lopez’s arms. He threw the arms, head, and Arias-Lopez’s personal documents in the trash, he told investigators, and the garbage collectors hauled them away, the Washington Post said.
Barnes said he covered the remains with trash bags and put it in his backyard.
Barnes also told police he wanted to executed and was having suicidal thoughts, and said that he confessed because he had “repented to God for his actions.”
Autopsy results on the remains are still pending, along with DNA testing of the remains and the blood evidence from the basement.
Barnes was in court on Thursday, when he was ordered held without bond. He is due back in court on March 29.
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[Featured image: WTTG screenshot]