WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The man accused of killing a jogger in Warwick City Park nearly a decade ago allegedly admitted to attacking the victim, though he claims he did so “to save himself.”

Michael Soares was arrested in February 2019 in connection with the death of 66-year-old John “Jack” Fay, whose body was found five years prior.

Soares, whose bench trial began Wednesday in Kent County Superior Court, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Psychiatrist Dr. Patricia Recupero testified that Soares is mentally unwell and only attacked Fay because he believed he was in danger.

“[He was] really led by thoughts that someone was going to kill him and that people could read his mind,” she explained.

Prosecutors believe Fay, a retired postal worker and Vietnam veteran, was ambushed by Soares, who stabbed and beat him to death before shoving his body into a trash barrel.

The murder weapons, a knife and sledgehammer, were both found near where Fay’s body was discovered.

Detectives were able to identify Soares as the suspect through a DNA testing kit submitted to a genealogical database by one of his distant relatives.

Mark Canning, a former detective with the Warwick Police Department, explained in court that investigators were also able to trace both weapons back to Soares.

Canning said detectives requested purchase records from Walmart dated on or prior to May 16, 2013, which is believed to be the day Fay was killed.

“Surprisingly enough, [Walmart maintains] 10 years worth of records,” Canning explained.

Canning said the records confirmed that Soares bought the hammer in March 2013 at a Walmart in Newport, while the knife was purchased the same day Fay disappeared.

On top of that, prosecutors said Soares attempted to board a flight to Pakistan two days after Fay’s murder, but was stopped by TSA because he was acting unusual.

The bench trial is expected to resume on Friday.