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Man accused of killing grandparents was awaiting trial in assault

By Mark Shenefelt - | Nov 25, 2022

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CLEARFIELD — Police on Friday released the identities of an elderly couple who were bludgeoned and shot to death at their home Wednesday afternoon.

Thomas Walker, 87, and Janice Walker, 85, were found dead in a detached garage and their grandson, 26-year-old Jeremy Belt, is jailed on suspicion of two counts of aggravated murder.

The couple’s daughter, Belt’s mother, called 911 to say she arrived home at about 3:10 p.m. and found the bodies, according to a Clearfield Police Department news release. She said she believed Belt was responsible and he was still inside the house.

Belt was arrested and taken to the police station, where he initially told detectives that he arrived home and found his grandparents injured in the garage, according to a probable cause statement. Officers showed him neighborhood surveillance video that undercut his story and he then allegedly admitted he killed the couple, the document said.

Belt allegedly confronted the couple inside the home “about accusations he holds against them,” the arrest affidavit said. The Walkers picked up some belongings and went into the garage intending to leave in their vehicle.

“Jeremy stated he knew they couldn’t leave because he intentionally cut the motor wire to the garage door,” the affidavit said. He followed them into the garage and allegedly kicked both in the torso, knocking them to the ground.

He allegedly picked up a hammer and struck the hood of their vehicle, demanding they respond to his complaints. The affidavit alleged that he then repeatedly hit each of them on the head with the hammer. He went inside and returned with a .22 caliber rifle and allegedly shot Janice Walker once in the head. He went back inside for more ammo and returned, allegedly shooting Thomas Walker once, also in the head.

Belt put away the rifle and went into his room, locking the door behind him, and got out a .30-06 rifle, according to the affidavit. Police said in the new release that Belt called his mother and she handed the phone to a police officer, who talked to him about coming out unarmed, which he soon did.

Belt was held without bail at the Davis County Jail on suspicion of two counts of first-degree felony aggravated murder and a second-degree felony charge of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, plus misdemeanor charges of assault, possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, and criminal mischief. The assault charge was for allegedly giving his mother a black eye earlier Wednesday.

According to 2nd District Court records, Belt was out on bail awaiting trial on a charge of third-degree felony aggravated assault in a 2019 incident. Charging documents in that case alleged that Belt pressed his girlfriend’s head onto a vehicle and strangled her unconscious. The alleged assault occurred in the same garage where the Walkers were killed.

Further word on the nature of Belt’s apparent displeasure with the Walkers and his mother were not released. Efforts to contact Clearfield Police Chief Kelly Bennett were not immediately successful.

The Walkers served for more than 10 years until 2019 on the Clearfield City Citizens’ Patrol, according to the police news release. “They volunteered countless hours to the community,” the release said. “We are grateful for their love for the community and we honor their dedicated service.”

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