An accused killer’s use of his Kentucky welfare benefits card led police to him a couple weeks after he robbed and murdered a woman in a Somerset church, according to court testimony Wednesday.
Dwight Bell, 41, of Lexington went to Denham Street Baptist Church in Pulaski County Aug. 24 asking for food because he was hungry, according to WKYT, the Herald-Leader’s reporting partner. A detective revealed details about the case during a preliminary hearing Wednesday on Bell’s murder and robbery charges.
Police said Carolyn New walked to get potato chips for him and moments after she handed Bell the chips, he killed her by slashing her neck. New helped clean the church where her husband had been the pastor.
Bell told police that if he killed New, stole her car, phone and other possessions, then he could get a fresh start, WKYT said.
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Bell was seen on surveillance images or video in Lexington and later in Indianapolis, where police found New’s car.
Police tracked down Bell because he used his EBT card in Tennessee after the empty card was loaded Sept. 11 with new benefit money, according to WKYT. The monthly payments are distributed on a particular day each month based on account numbers.
Last week, police in Dandridge, Tenn., arrested Bell.
After his arrest, Bell confessed to robbing and killing New, police said.
The judge sent the case against Bell to the grand jury, which will review the charges. The grand jury is expected to meet in early October, according to the WKYT report.