Clay County couple faces charges in relation to elderly man's death

CLAY COUNTY, Ky. - A Clay County couple is behind bars and facing charges in connection with the murder of 74-year-old Earl Woods.

Police found Woods' body in his home last Thursday after he was apparently beaten to death.

“He had been struck and hit multiple times with what looked like a hammer and he had been stabbed several times,” said Charles Senters with Kentucky State Police.

Family members of Woods say they are relieved that arrests have been made in this case.

They say they were shocked to hear that the people charged were Earl Woods' next door neighbors.

Deputies say Woods' neighbor, Joshua Morsch, is the person responsible for his death.

Morsch’s girlfriend, Kathy Stewart, also faces charges of complicity to commit murder.

Deputies with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office interviewed the two suspects for hours Wednesday night.

They say they believe prescription pills played a big part in the alleged murder.

Deputies believe it started as a robbery that went wrong.

“We think Mr. Morsch was going over to just get the medication from Mr. Woods and Mr. Woods put up a fight and Joshua subsequently committed the crime of murder,” said Senters.

Dena Woods is a family member who says she's relieved that arrests have been made.

“We’re grieving for Earl. We’re glad that the people responsible are in jail but Earl is still gone and it’s hard,” said Woods.

Both Stewart and Morsch are being held in the Clay County Detention Center.


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