Arkansan, 29, accused of beating man to death with hammer

Posted: November 7, 2017 at 12:26 p.m.

A 29-year-old Atkins man was charged with first-degree murder Friday after he told police he beat a man to death with a hammer.

Daniel Joseph Hoffman was in the Pope County jail on drug charges when investigators questioned him about the homicide of Jeremiah Murray, also of Atkins, who was reported missing Sept. 15.

Murray's remains were found Sept. 23 "six to eight feet inside the bushes" at a residence on Gold Hill Road near Lake Atkins, according to an affidavit of probable cause from investigator Chris Ridenhour of the Pope County sheriff's office.

"Hoffman admitted killing Murray at the location where his remains were found by striking him several times with a hammer," Ridenhour wrote. "He then took Murray's vehicle and abandoned it off Flag Lake Road," which is near the Arkansas River.

Hoffman told another man that Murray said he wanted to die, according to the affidavit.

Hoffman was arrested Sept. 20 at the Atkins car- wash, which deputies were patrolling because of complaints of drug activity there, according to the affidavit.

Hoffman was charged with possession of 16 grams of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and possession of less than 2 grams of cocaine, according to the affidavit.

Hoffman is being held in the Pope County jail in Russellville in lieu of $350,000 bond in the murder case and $10,000 bond in the drug case, according to court records.


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