Case of man accused of beating roommate to death goes to grand jury

gkocher1@herald-leader.comSeptember 10, 2013 

A Fayette County grand jury will consider the case of a man accused of beating his roommate to death three days after the victim moved into an apartment.

District Judge Kim Wilkie found probable cause Tuesday to send the case of Claude Dalrymple, 42, to a grand jury.

Dalrymple is accused of murder in the Aug. 31 death of Dale Irons, 73, in a two-bedroom apartment on Cambridge Drive they shared with a third man.

During a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Lexington police detective David Sadler testified that the men were part of a program that houses military veterans with substance-abuse problems. Sadler said Irons had moved in with Dalrymple and Jeff Crockett on a Wednesday and was beaten to death on the next Saturday.

Dalrymple told police that Irons had insulted him and demonstrated for investigators how he had crouched over Irons and beat him with his fists, Sadler testified.

Crockett told police he awoke to shouts of "Stay down! Stay down! Stay down!" When he looked outside his bedroom, Crockett saw Dalrymple standing over Irons and beating Irons about the head, Sadler testified.

Crockett told Dalrymple to stop and tried to call 911, but Dalrymple took the phone out of Crockett's hand and said a similar beating was in store for him if he told anybody, Sadler testified.

Nevertheless, Crockett went to a neighbor's home and called 911 from there.

When police arrived, they found a bloodied Irons lying on the kitchen floor and Dalrymple with his back to the kitchen wall. Irons later died at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Autopsy results are not complete, but it is thought that Irons died of blunt-force trauma, Sadler said. Irons weighed about 140 pounds, and Dalrymple weighed about 175 pounds, Sadler said.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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