WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — The man charged with killing a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran and retired postal worker who was out for his morning run in a Rhode Island park nearly a decade ago was found guilty on Friday by a judge who rejected the suspect’s mental illness defense.
Michael Soares, 37, was charged with first-degree murder in the May 2013 stabbing and beating death of John “Jack” Fay, whose body was found in a trash barrel in Warwick City Park.
The case stumped investigators until 2019 when DNA recovered from a hammer found near the scene was linked to DNA that one of Soares’ relatives had contributed to a geneological database.
Soares has been held without bail since his February 2019 arraignment. He originally pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea at the beginning of his jury-waived trial on Jan. 4 to not guilty by reason of insanity.
Psychiatrists for both the defense and the prosecution testified that Soares was schizophrenic. The defense psychiatrist said Soares thought someone was going to kill him and people could read his mind.
The prosecution’s psychiatrist, however, noted that Soares tried to hide the body and flee the country after the killing, indicating he was aware that what he had done was wrong.