Around 1 am on Friday, September 9, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office deputies were waved down by 52-year-old Jay Albery Stevens, who was about 30 minutes from the Mexican border in southeast Arizona, at a crossroads outside the town of McNeal.
Stevens told the police that he had just killed his stepfather and that he wanted to show them the body when they stopped to see if he was okay. According to reports, Stevens was charged with first-degree murder and is currently being held on a $1M bond.
Stevens directed the police to the body of his stepfather, who had been shot in the chest with a .40 caliber handgun, lying outside a house nearby in the town of Pearce where he was taken into custody. He told investigators that he committed the murder after his stepfather accused him of not reading the Bible, but that it was really the result of “a lot of years of putting up with this s**t.”
He also stated that he considered several options for disposing of the body, including chaining it to his truck to “drag him out into the desert” or burying him, but that they were too difficult. “I was gonna bury him, but I’m too lazy to dig a hole that big,” he told cops. Stevens told cops that his entire family despised his stepfather, describing him as an alcoholic who “brainwashed” his mother into becoming one as well. “This has been building in me for a long time,” Stevens said, adding, “What I did today was just probably 20 years of s**t.”
Stevens claimed his stepfather had spent the entire day before he was murdered, drinking beer and had accused him of not understanding the Bible and never reading it. When the two started arguing about the accusation, Stevens’ stepfather told him, “If you don’t like it, you can leave.” After spending several hours stewing over the heated argument in his bedroom, he decided to kill his stepfather. He told cops, “It took me a while to get the gumption to go out there with a gun.”
Stevens claimed he walked his dogs over to his sister’s house so they could be cared for after deciding he would be caught no matter what he did. After telling her to call the police and confess to the murder there, he started to walk down the highway until he spotted a deputy to wave down.
The statement from Cochise County Sherriff’s office said that in order to complete an autopsy and determine the precise cause of death, search and rescue personnel were called to help move the deceased person to a location, from where they could be transported to the Pima County Medical Examiners Office. The statement read, “Deputies and Detectives were able to recover items of evidence from the scene and located a vehicle they believe belongs to the deceased Sierra Vista resident. Contact was made with family members who also believe that the deceased subject is their loved one.” The statement added that additional information would be given post autopsy with the cause of death and positive identification of the deceased.