Police: Somerset pastor's widow killed after she fed homeless man

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SOMERSET, Ky. (WKYT) - The man accused of killing a pastor's widow in a Pulaski County church appeared in court Wednesday afternoon.

Dwight Bell had a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Police say on Thursday, August 24th Bell went to the Denham Street Baptist Church and killed Carolyn New, 70, who had been cleaning the church's activity center.

A detective testified on Wednesday that Bell went to the church while New was there asking for food because he was homeless. Police said New walked to the church activities center to get some potato chips for him. Moments after she handed Bell the chips, police say he killed her.

During testimony, the detective revealed that New died from a laceration to the neck. The detective said that Bell told them he felt if he killed New, stole her car, phone, and other possessions, that he could get a fresh start.

Surveillance video would later pick up Bell's actions at stores in Lexington and then in Indianapolis, Indiana where police found New's car.

Police were able to track Bell because he was using his EBT card. the card didn't have any money on it until September 11. After that time, the EBT card had activity in Tennessee. Last week, police in Dandridge, Tennessee arrested Bell. Somerset police say he confessed to New's murder.

The judge sent the case against Bell to the grand jury to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial. The grand jury is expected to meet in early October.

Bell is in the Pulaski County Detention Center and being held without bond.

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