In Wetherell’s upstairs bedroom, England used a fire poker to repeatedly beat Wetherell who later died of a cervical spine fracture resulting in suffocation due to a paralyzed diaphragm.
This same night, England and Jackson stole Wetherell’s antique guns, jewelry, silver and Wetherell’s green Mercury Sable car. The two fled to Orlando, Florida, employing Reynaldo DeLeon, a friend of England’s, to fence the stolen items.
Several days after the murder, Jackson was arrested after wrecking the stolen car in Walton County and soon implicated England in the murder. England, taken into custody on an unrelated violation of probation charge, was later charged with Wetherell’s murder.
At the trial, witnesses testified that England claimed Wetherell was a pervert who deserved to be killed for having sexual relations with a young man. England also made inculpatory statements to DeLeon claiming responsibility for the murder.
DNA on cigarette butts linked the two offenders to the scene, but investigations were stalled due to a white powdery substance that, according to crime scene investigators, had been sprayed to destroy evidence that may have been left.
Handwriting analysis also linked England to a photograph recovered from the crime scene with the words “Pervert, f—k with us” with an arrow pointing to the victim.