Martinsburg, West Virginia
BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. - The Martinsburg man accused of killing an elderly woman in her Berkeley County home was in court Wednesday, where he filed paperwork for a public defender.
William Jackson was charged with the murder of 72-year old Martha Tyler in early March.
Although Jackson initially told investigators he blacked out and could not recall what happened on the day of the murder, court documents show Jackson told police he believes he killed Tyler.
Jackson was arrested shortly after authorities found Tyler strangled to death in her living room with a bag over her head and her hands tied behind her back.
Authorities say Jackson made dozens of credit card transactions with the victim's credit card just hours after the murder. According to documents, six transactions made at the Walmart on Foxcroft Avenue the day after the homicide total more than $700.
"Transactions on the credit card..the victims credit card were basically cash transactions,” said Berkeley Co. Sheriff Kenny Lehmaster.
Court documents show Jackson knew Tyler because he had done yard work for her in the past. He told authorities that Tyler would sometimes give him food and money.
Jackson also said before the murder, he was at Tyler’s home having a conversation with her in the kitchen. That's when he says he blacked out due to drug withdrawals.
Jackson told police he ran away from the house after waking up on top of Tyler, who was dead on the living room floor.
"Mr. Jackson was on probation from the Morgan County Circuit Court,” said Berkeley County Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Saunders. “He had been released from jail in February I believe when he committed these crimes”
Documents also reveal he described details of the murder scene that only the killer would know, including the fact that Tyler’s hands were tied behind her back and that the plastic bag over her head was blue.
The sheriff's office says they are still waiting on the results of crime scene analysis for things like fingerprints and other pieces evidence that could further connect Jackson to the murder.
The next step for Jackson is a preliminary hearing. The date for that has not been set yet.