Sheridan man arrested for beating man to death with stick

SHERIDAN, Ore. (AP) - Yamhill County sheriff's deputies say they've arrested a 40-year-old Sheridan, Ore., man for the murder of a 77-year-old man.

Sheriff Jack Crabtree said Xavier Wolfgang was arrested Thursday. He appeared in Yamhill County Circuit Court via video arraignment Friday.

On Wednesday evening, deputies went to a home in Sheridan, southwest of Portland, to check on property owner Walter Adelman, 77, who was remodeling the home. His daughter had told the sheriff's office she was concerned because she had not heard from him for a few days.

Deputies found Adelman's vehicle and talked with Wolfgang, who told them he was caring for the property, about four miles outside of town on Rock Creek Road, and that Adelman was not there.

According to court documents, deputies said Wolfgang, under questioning on Thursday, told them he argued and then fought with Adelman on April 17 about some work he had been asked to do and that he hit Adelman several times with a piece of wood after wrestling with him inside the home. He said Adelman was alive when he left the house.

Wolfgang told deputies he went back later to find Adelman still alive and hit him again with a stick, killing him, according to the probable cause documents. Deputies also said that on April 19, Wolfgang walked them through the property where the crime took place and described his actions.

Deputies found Adelman's remains in a barn on the property. They said he had blunt force trauma wounds. An autopsy was scheduled for Friday.

Wolfgang told deputies he threw the stick he used to kill Adelman into a nearby creek. Wolfgang told deputies he lived in an outbuilding on the property as partial compensation for his work on the grounds.

Longtime neighbors said Adelman hired Wolfgang through a Craigslist ad.

According to court documents, Wolfgang is from Santa Cruz, Calif.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

KATU News reporter Thom Jensen contributed to this report.