ABC News reported today that a beloved Priest, Rev. Eric Freed, of Northern California city of Eureka was beaten to death with a wooden stake and a metal gutter pipe, according to his autopsy.
The Coroner, Dave Parris of Humboldt County, stated on Monday investigators does not want to issue additional details of the beating death of Rev. Freed, pending further investigations.
Suspect, Gary Lee Bullock, 44, of Humboldt County, was charged at his arraignment with murder and with a special allegation of torture; and he was also charged with arson, burglary, and auto theft.
Bullock has pleaded not guilty with bail set at $1.2 million, according to court records.
Police Chief Andrew Mills said, “I don’t think we have a clear motive we’re willing to speak about right now. There was significant evidence found at the scene to suggest that Bullock had tried to set the house on fire.”
There were more than 1,000 people who filled the Sacred Heart Catholic Church to attend the funeral Mass for Priest, Rev. Eric Freed on Monday.
Bullock had been released from jail on a disorderly conduct charge just a few hours prior to Freed being killed in the rectory at the rectory of St. Bernard Catholic Church, according to authorities. The jail is located close by the church.
Mills has been quoted as saying, “Bullock was visible on surveillance video from outside the church and rectory, and the attacker had gotten inside the rectory by breaking a side window.
The slaying is said to have occurred in the early morning hours of January 1, 2014, according to Parris. To pin point a more precise time of death it must await further analysis of the evidence.
A security guard who was passing the area saw Bullock on the church grounds at about 2 a.m. New Year’s Day and he called the police. An officer confronted Bullock in the front of the rectory; he check his jail papers, did a sobriety field test, and determined that Bullock was mentally competent to be in public, directing him to a shelter which was several blocks away, police have stated.
It’s my belief this is a heinous crime that happened to an innocent Priest who probably was in the rectory at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church after a New Year Eve late Mass. It’s my belief this killing was the result of Bullock’s rage after being charged with a disorderly conduct charge several hours later; and he had to get revenge on someone for the disorderly charge and he took his rage out on the Priest.
It’s my opinion all of this occurred because of rage and an inability to gain control over one’s own mind. A man of God killed because of a raging bully is sad in our society.
Barbara Kasey Smith is the writer of this article base on an ABC News.go.com report.