A man who was convicted in the death of his father 18 years ago is now a person of interest in the murder of a woman found dead in a Somerset church.
On Thursday, Somerset police announced that they had obtained a warrant for Bell’s arrest in connection with the theft of New’s Toyota Corolla. They said he remains a person of interest in New’s murder.
On March 1, 1999, Bell, then 22, was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the death of his father, Roger Bell, 49, of the Murl community in Wayne County. Roger Bell had been shot in the head.
Dwight Bell pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree manslaughter, along with charges of first-degree wanton endangerment and tampering with physical evidence, court records show.
He has lived in Lexington most recently. Last August, he pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree terroristic threatening in Fayette District Court. Also last year, he pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted theft by failure to make required disposition.
New was the custodian at Denham Street Baptist, where her late husband, J.S. New, had been the pastor. The current pastor, Jeff Griffith, found New’s body while searching the church after family members reported her missing.
Somerset police said Bell has since been seen in the Indianapolis area.
They said they worked with the Pulaski County Major Crimes Task Force and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to gather information that led to the arrest warrant for theft by unlawful taking or disposition of an auto valued at $10,000 or more.
Bell is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 170 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.