The man who claimed to find his cousin's body last weekend has been charged with his murder, Jefferson County officials say.
Charles Erskin Smothers, a 40-year-old man from Adamsville, was found deceased in the 2200 block of Shady Grove Road in west Jefferson County. He had been shot once in the head. Deputies responded to the call around 12:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5.
Smothers' cousin, 28-year-old Jesse Lee Boyd, told deputies he found the body about 25 feet from the roadside. Boyd claimed he was helping look for the victim "as a favor to the victim's mother," according to Chief Deputy Randy Christian. Smothers had not been reported missing.
Investigators said inconsistencies in Boyd's story about finding his cousin's body led them to believe he may be a suspect in the homicide.
Smothers had been living inside his truck near a bridge on Shady Grove at the time of his death, Christian said. Deputies believe Boyd stole Smothers' truck and burned it to cover up the murder. The truck was discovered on Woodruff Mill Road on Thursday, January 3, two days before Smothers' body was found.
"Although a motive has not been established, the victim filed a police report saying Boyd accused Smothers of stealing a gaming console and assaulted him on December 30, 2012," Christian said in a press release.
Boyd was arrested on Tuesday, January 8 and charged with his cousin's murder, plus a first degree theft of property charge for allegedly stealing the truck.
Boyd has denied any involvement in his cousin's death, according to the sheriff's office. He is being held on no bond in the Jefferson County Jail.
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