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Joseph Emmett Naulty Murder: Teen Who Killed Grandfather With Hatchet Discussed Plan On App

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina teenager charged with killing his grandfather with a hatchet discussed the crime in advance with a still-unidentified person on a cellphone messaging app, law enforcement authorities said in an affidavit.

According to a detective's affidavit for a search warrant, the then-15-year-old discussed his forming plans before attacking Joseph Emmett Naulty, 63, in August, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

The affidavit said the boy discussed in his cellphone messages that he found the grandfather who recently moved into his home, "just kinda inconvenient.'' Naulty moved into his son's home after his wife died in Alabama in February, a neighbour told the newspaper.

Investigators are working with the Canada-based company behind the app called Kik to identify the person using used the identity Sporkus_the_wise who was messaging with the Cumberland County teen, sheriff's department spokesman Sgt. Sean Swain said.

kik messenger
A teenage boy uses Kik messenger app in Montreal in February.

Kik users have greater anonymity than many popular social media services because they don't need to use their real names or link their account to a phone number.

In the minutes before the killing, the boy known as EtherealSkull on the Kik app sent his correspondent pictures that included a hatchet and a pair of black gloves. About 20 minutes later, dispatchers received a 911 call about a homicide at the home, according to the affidavit. Arriving deputies found the teen wearing black gloves and covered in blood, the affidavit said.

Naulty's body was found in his bed with a hatchet on the floor nearby.

The teen, who turned 16 last month, is charged as a juvenile with first-degree murder. Prosecutors are deciding whether to try him as an adult.

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