Autopsy shows man was stabbed 10 times in Harrison, Tenn., slaying

Autopsy shows man was stabbed 10 times in Harrison, Tenn., slaying

December 13th, 2011 by Kate Harrison Belz in News

The body of David L. Murray, 46, was discovered Tuesday at 6422 Ware Branch Drive.

Joshua Sterling Stoltz

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

A Harrison man found dead in his home was beaten severely and stabbed at least 10 times all over his body, including once between the eyes and once directly in the front of his throat, according to the Hamilton County medical examiner.

On Dec. 6, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputies found David L. Murray, 46, lying in a pool of blood in the garage of his home after Murray's sister called the sheriff's office, saying she had not heard from her brother in several days. He was last seen Dec. 3.

Joshua Stoltz, 19, of Red Bank, faces a charge of criminal homicide as he awaits extradition from Valdosta, Ga., where he was arrested Dec. 5 on drug and theft charges.

Stoltz -- who had been living with Murray in a home on Ware Branch Cove Drive for several months -- was pulled over in South Georgia while driving Murray's red pickup truck, and officials said they discovered stolen guns and Murray's prescription drugs in the vehicle.

Authorities said Stoltz also will be charged with theft over $10,000 in connection with the case. Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said he hopes Stoltz will be transported back to Chattanooga this week.

According to the medical examiner's report, Murray suffered most of the stab wounds to his face and neck, though incisions and abrasions were found across all of his limbs and hands. Murray's assailant also fractured Murray's skull and facial bones, and his body was covered with bruises.

The medical examiner ruled Murray's probable cause of death to be "multiple injuries." A complete autopsy may not be available for several weeks, officials said.

Officials have not yet listed the weapons that may have been used in Murray's death, and Hammond declined to say whether Murray's injuries indicate he was tortured or whether some of his wounds were suffered in self-defense.

"We are not prepared to release some of the details like the weapon until the [investigation] is completed," Hammond said Monday.

Hammond has said it is unclear when Murray was killed.

Contact staff writer Kate Harrison at kharrison@times freepress.com or 423-757-6673.