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July 16, 2019

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Grandfather died from knife wounds to neck, police report says

Updated Wednesday, May 7, 2014 | 2:05 p.m.

Steven Woodard

Steven Woodard

Steven Dale Woodard used a box cutter and knives in attacks that left his grandfather dead and his father severely wounded, a Metro Police arrest report indicates.

Police discovered Woodard, 43, of Las Vegas, asleep about 5:45 a.m. today and arrested him in the backyard of a vacant house in the 1500 block of Thelma Lane, about two blocks west of the house where, police say, he attacked his father and his roommate a day earlier.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified Woodard’s dead grandfather as 91-year-old Richard Hill. The Coroner’s Office said it was working to identify the cause of death, but the police report said Hill suffered multiple lacerations to his throat and neck in an attack overnight Monday in his home in the 2800 block of Florence Avenue, near Tropicana and Eastern avenues.

Woodard also was linked to an attack on his father and father’s roommate about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at their home in the 1400 block of Cottonwood Place, near Charleston Boulevard and Maryland Parkway, police said.

The arrest report, released this afternoon, provided these details:

Woodard, who had been treated after trying to commit suicide, had recently returned to Las Vegas from Oregon and had a history of violence against his father and others in the family.

A tenant of a casita behind Hill’s house heard a noise between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. Monday. When he went outside to investigate, he saw Woodard and asked him what he was doing. Woodard replied he was looking for his grandfather, but his grandfather wouldn’t answer the door. The casita resident told Woodard to leave and later told police that was the last time he saw Woodard.

By 7 a.m. Tuesday, Hill’s caretaker arrived at the home and could not get anyone to answer the door. When she went to the rear of the house, she noticed the sliding-glass door had been forced open, so she called police.

The arriving officers searched the house and found Hill deceased, sitting in a recliner near the front door. He was covered in blood. Homicide detectives, crime scene investigators and the coroner were summoned to the house. A cursory exam at the scene revealed Hill had suffered multiple wounds to his neck and throat. He also had injuries to his hands and arms, apparently from trying to defend himself against his attacker.

A broken knife handle and its blade were found on the floor, near the recliner.

Police already were looking for Woodard in a separate attack eight miles away.

About 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Woodard knocked on the door of his father’s house, asking to use the bathroom. When his father, Jerry Woodard, let Steven Woodard into the house, Steven Woodard accused his father of trying to kill his children. Steven Woodard then took out a box cutter and sliced his father across the neck. Jerry Woodard, bleeding profusely, called out to his roommate in the next room that he was injured and Steven Woodard had cut him.

The roommate tried to go to the kitchen to call 911, but Steven Woodard blocked him and cut him on the neck with a utility knife before running out of the house.

Jerry Woodard was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he was treated for the cut to the neck. The roommate suffered a superficial wound.

Tuesday afternoon, police publicly named Steven Woodard as the suspect in Hill’s slaying and the attack on Jerry Woodard and his roommate. Still at large at the time, Steven Woodard was to be considered armed and dangerous, police said.

After police wandered upon and arrested him this morning, Steven Woodard asked police, “How did you find me? What are my charges.”

In a later interview with detectives, Steven Woodard — dressed in a white T-shirt, jean shorts and white athletic shoes, all spattered with blood — admitted to visiting his father but denied cutting his throat. He also denied being at his grandfather’s residence.

At one point in the interview, Steven Woodard was convinced the police were lying to him, insisting his grandfather and father were alive and uninjured. The report makes a reference to Steven Woodard discussing voices in his head and calling himself “the devil.” It gives no other details but references a transcribed statement that was not made available.

Steven Woodard remains in the Clark County Detention Center without bail. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office had yet to file formal charges against him.

Staff writer Brian Nordli contributed to this report.

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