WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — After nearly a decade, a murder case out of Warwick has come to a close.
John “Jack” Fay, 66, was stabbed and beaten to death by an attacker while jogging at Warwick City Park back in 2013.
The case went unsolved for years, until DNA evidence linked a suspect to the crime.
Here’s a timeline of how the case developed, from the murder to the outcome of the trial.
The 66-year-old Fay, a Vietnam veteran and retired postal worker, went for a run in Warwick City Park on May 16 when he was attacked. His body was found the next day stuffed inside a barrel. It was believed he was bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer found nearby.
Police released photos of the sledgehammer they found near the scene of the crime. They said the two-and-a-half-pound sledge had a custom-made handle.
Police said they had DNA samples they believed were from the murderer. At the time, no matches were found. Police released a sketch of the suspected killer based on those samples.
Michael A. Soares, 33, is charged with first-degree murder. Police said his DNA wasn’t in the system when the samples were first tested, but his cousin’s use of a DNA testing service allowed them to find a match.
“This arrest was the culmination of years of effort covering hundreds of leads by our Detective Division. Throughout the past five-plus years, the Warwick Police Department has remained committed to finding Jack’s killer,” Warwick Police Chief Rick Rathbun said at the time.
Soares is denied bail after he was deemed a flight risk. Prosecutors told the judge that he tried to board a flight to Pakistan two days after Fay’s murder, but the TSA prevented him from traveling because he was acting unusual.
Soares’ bench trial is held. A psychiatrist testified that he is mentally unwell and only attacked Fay because he believed he was in danger.
After closing arguments were delivered on Jan. 6, the judge said he would announce his verdict three weeks later on Jan. 27.
The judge found Soares guilty of first-degree murder, explaining that the defense failed to prove there was a relationship between his mental state and the crime.
Soares was sentenced to life in prison for Fay’s murder. His attorney made an appeal to try to vacate the verdict, but the judge denied the motion.