25-year-old Joshua P. Underwood, allegedly used bodybuilding weight to kill his one time lover Mark J. Morrison, 52, on New Year’s day
Joshua P. Underwood, 25, is accused of using a bodybuilding weight to kill Mark J. Morrison, 52, early on the morning of New year’s day.
Morrison was found dead in his bed with blunt-force trauma wounds to the head at his apartment at 229 Main Street in Oneonta, according to Oneonta Police Lt. Douglas Brenner.
Morrison was the manager of the brick, four-floor Viewpoint Apartments building and Underwood had been staying with Morrison for the a week, before the incident, according to police.
The murder weapon was a heavy weight used for bodybuilding, Brenner said, which Underwood used to strike Morrison multiple times.
Underwood is facing multiple charges including second-degree murder, , second-degree attempted arson and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He is being held at the Otsego County Correctional Facility. Bail has been set at $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.
The two gay two men have been romantically involved “at least in the past, if not more currently,” according to Oneonta Police Lt. Douglas Brenner. And maybe for as long as 6 years according to one source in Morrison’s complex who said he had known the two men for that long.
“That’s part of what we’re looking into as far as a motive,” Brenner told The Daily Star on Monday. “It may have played a part.”
Underwood reportedly,walked to a convenience store to call Otsego County Emergency 911 at about 3:30 a.m. to confess.
“He told 911 dispatchers, ‘I think I killed my friend,'”Lt.Brenner said. Two police officers went to interview Underwood, “and he told us the same thing.”
Responding police officers and firefighters forced open the door to Morrison’s apartment, Brenner said, and found the deceased man in his bedroom.
Morrison was the manager of the Main street apt building complex
Underwood apparently had tried to conceal the crime by stuffing newspapers under the apartment door and setting the papers on fire, Brenner said. However, the flames went out on their own. Brenner said it was fortunate there was no fire in the apartment building.
Investigators are trying to reconstruct the crime time frame, which involves looking into cell phone and computer records and surveillance equipment that Morrison apparently had installed inside the apartment building.
Underwood is facing the maximum sentence for a person convicted of the felony murder, that is a life sentence in prison. For the other felony charges Underwood is facing a maximum sentence of up to 15 years.