PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — A Newport County Grand Jury has filed new criminal charges against the man accused of killing his landlord earlier this year in Portsmouth, alleging he illegally used the victim’s car and credit card.
In May, Portsmouth police arrested Jacob Morrill, 25, for the first-degree murder of 50-year-old Xue Feng Wu. Police alleged Morrill struck Wu in the head with a small ax during a dispute at a home on West Main Road, and then hid his body in a wooded area nearby.
Police said they found Wu’s body wrapped in a tarp and covered in wire fencing and other objects next to a pathway behind the home. The officers also recovered evidence police said included the suspected murder weapon.
Nearly two and a half months after Morrill’s arrest, a grand jury in Newport handed up an indictment on Aug. 4 that charged the 25-year-old with driving without the consent of an owner or lessee and fraudulent use of a credit card under $100 in a six-month period.
In the indictment obtained by Target 12, the grand jury alleged that “on or about” May 22, Morrill “did drive a motor vehicle, to wit, a 2010 white Volvo S80, not his own, without the consent of the owner of the vehicle, Xue Feng Wu, with intent, temporarily, to deprive the owner of his possession and without the intent to steal the vehicle.”
The filing also alleged that at the same time, Morrill used Wu’s credit card and spent more than $100. At the time of Morrill’s arraignment, police declined to comment on a possible motive for the killing. Court records show Wu and Morrill had an eviction hearing scheduled for the same day of the murder.
Morrill is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges on Aug. 24 in Newport County Superior Court.