MORE DETAILS: 28-Year-Old Arrested in Beating Death of 54-Year-Old Near Selah Monday - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

MORE DETAILS: 28-Year-Old Arrested in Beating Death of 54-Year-Old Near Selah Monday

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UPDATE: YAKIMA, WA.--Deputies said it appears a confrontation over religious beliefs led to the brutal death of a man near Yakima Monday.

According to court documents, the victim 54-year-old David Johnson, was hitting golf balls along the Yakima Greenway when he came across 28-year-old Darren Wright.

Wright told detectives the victim started yelling at him, saying he was going to hell for his sins. Police describe the suspect as very anti-Christ, and they said he believes in witchcraft.

Wright then told detectives he took the golf club out of Johnson's hands and smashed it against the side of the older man's head. Johnson was taken to a local hospital where he died from a fractured skull.

The suspect was supposed to be in court this afternoon, but a corrections officer said Wright is being uncooperative and refusing to come out of his cell. They're pushing his preliminary appearance back to Friday.



YAKIMA, WA - The Yakima County Sheriff's Office has arrested a 28-year-old man in connection with the beating death of a 54-year-old south of Selah Monday.

The 28-year-old suspect has been booked in the Yakima Co Corrections facility on suspicion of 2nd degree murder.

According to the Yakima County Jail roster, an inmate by the name of Darren Michael Wright has recently been booked for second degree murder.

On Wednesday morning, detectives found the man fitting the description of a person seen in the area of Harlan Landing Park on Monday, just before the death of David Johnson.  Investigators described the person-of-interest as a Hispanic or African-American man with long hair that may be in deadlocks. The man was seen walking near the park prior to the murder.

The man had been identified by a Washington State Patrol trooper. That trooper had actually contacted the man on Monday afternoon after report of a subject throwing rocks at vehicles between Selah and Yakima. 

The suspect was released, but was later arrested by Union Gap police late Monday on charges of domestic assault. 

The 28-year-old man very closely resembled the darker-skinned bushy-haired subject described by multiple citizens as being near or in Harlan Landing.  The identity of the man and his description was forwarded to detectives after the sheriff's office issued an "attempt to locate."

The 28-year-old was interviewed by a detective and admitted to striking Johnson with a golf club after a short confrontation.  He was then arrested for 2nd degree murder and booked into the Yakima County Corrections facility.

The case initially had very little information to go on, but numerous citizens contacted law enforcement to tell of the suspicious person they had seen near Harlan Landing.  The involvement of those citizens led directly to the arrest of the suspect.