ANDERSON, Ind. — Court documents reveal that Jacob Fite reportedly admitted to punching 66-year-old Jerry Gray twice in the nose but claimed that he hadn’t meant to kill the man.
Jacob Fite, 34, of Anderson was arrested on Dec. 8 and faces charges of aggravated battery and involuntary manslaughter.
According to court documents, Fite told police he met Gray at a liquor store at 6th and Scatterfield and drove him to his home on W. 27th Street where the two went inside to “chit chat and have some more drinks.”
Fite claimed at some point Gray showed him a bayonet and poked him with the weapon. Fite described the bayonet as “cheap and flimsy,” according to the court documents, and said he wasn’t injured by the poke. Fite did say he responded by punching Gray in the nose, drawing blood.
Despite the punch, Fite told investigators that he and Gray continued to converse for five to 15 minutes before Gray retrieved yet another bayonet. Fite called this one “legit” and described it as being one “from Vietnam.”
Fite claims Gray again came out him with the bayonet and that Fite responded by “laying him out.” Gray reportedly fell to the ground but Fite claimed he didn’t realize the 66-year-old was dead.
Police learned about the death after an acquaintance of Fite’s contacted police claiming that Fite called him and asked if he wanted to help him hide a body. The acquaintance told detectives that Fite called him to come to the house on W. 27th Street because his truck was out of gas.
Reportedly when the acquaintance arrived, Fite came out of the home “crying and very emotional.” He reportedly asked the acquaintance to help him “move a dead body that was inside the home.”
Fite denied this claim, however. According to the court documents, Fite told police he called for help because he was out of gas but that he didn’t realize Gray was dead and didn’t say anything about a body.
The court documents reveal that neighbors reportedly helped Fite jump-start his truck and refused to shake his hand afterward “due to blood being all over (Fite’s) hands.”
Blood was reportedly collected from Fite’s jeans for a DNA test.
Officers wrote that after arriving at the home on 27th Street blood was noticed outside the partially opened door and Gray was found laying dead in the living room. Gray had trauma on his head and face consistent with battery, officers reported.
If found guilty, Fite can face between three and 16 years for his aggravated battery charge and between one and six years for his involuntary manslaughter charge.