A 33-year-old man has been charged with murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence after a body was found near the shopping center at Nicholaville Road and Man o' War Boulevard, according to Lexington police.
John Brittain Cawood was arrested in the area where the body was found close to railroad tracks under the Man o' War overpass near Lowe's, according to jail records and police.
The victim was identified as James "Doug" Holiness, 58.
Holiness's body was tampered with to try to conceal his identity, police said.
Police initially responded about 2:19 a.m. to 4055 Nichols Park after a report of an assault with a weapon, according to Wednesday's news release. They subsequently found the body, later identified as Holiness.
Cawood knew Holiness, police said. He was arrested at 6:40 a.m.
Sgt. Ann Welch said investigators were still trying to determine how long the men knew each other.
According to Fayette County court records, both men have had run-ins with the law.
Cawood served five days in jail in May for stealing 14 packs of Pokemon cards from Wal-Mart on New Circle Road. One month later, he was charged with theft by unlawful taking after he stuffed a pair of shoes and a bottle of cologne into his pants at a Mejier. At the time, he told police the boots were for his girlfriend who needed new work shoes, court documents said.
WKYT-TV reported that Cawood served time for an attempted murder conviction from 2001. Middlesboro Police said Cawood tried to strangle a woman with a guitar string, the station reported from an arrest citation.
Records for Holiness date to the early 1990s. He has been charged with public intoxication, begging, trespassing and assault.
Holiness was indicted in 2014 on one count of theft by deception and six counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument. However, the charges were dismissed, the documents said.The Fayette County coroner's office is looking for Holiness' next of kin. Anyone with information should contact the coroner's office at (859) 455-5700.