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Fri, Jan. 24

Cornville man beaten with bat, hammer dies Wednesday morning

David Joseph Shultz

David Joseph Shultz

CORNVILLE – The young man allegedly attacked with a bat and a hammer Dec. 7 died Wednesday morning, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.

“The victim in this case, 22-year-old Jesse Rayfield from Cornville, died this morning,” said YCSO Public Affairs Coordinator Dwight D'Evelyn. “The case is now classified as a homicide.”

Rayfield’s alleged assailant, 23-year-old David Joseph Shultz of Cornville remains in-custody and is held without bond,” said D'Evelyn.

“Detectives are currently conferring with the County Attorney's Office regarding updated charges,” said D'Evelyn.

In an earlier news release, D'Evelyn indicated the 22-year-old victim had been beaten with both a bat and a hammer.

The news release stated deputies were dispatched to the 11000 block of East Clatterbuck Drive, Cornville, at around 6:30 p.m. regarding an unconscious adult male with a severe head injury.

“Deputies began rendering first aid attempting to slow/stop the bleeding pending arrival of Verde Valley Fire personnel,” D'Evelyn explained. “Deputies noted a large amount of blood evident inside the travel trailer where the victim laid. A hammer with blood on it was discovered at the victim’s feet. Fire personnel arrived within minutes, treated the victim, and transported him to Verde Valley Medical Center. He was later taken to Flagstaff Medical Center.”

D'Evelyn explained that a relative of Shultz, who originally found the victim, remained on scene to speak with deputies. He told them Shultz had gone to the nearby home of another family member where he allegedly admitted to striking the victim with a bat.

“Shultz left and that family member contacted him by text concerned about what Shultz had stated,” the news release states. “They went to the Clatterbuck Drive house to check on the victim and found him on the floor with major head injuries becoming overwhelmed by the gruesome scene.”

Deputies contained the area, gathered witnesses and notified detectives from the Criminal Investigations Bureau, D'Evelyn said.

“A detective soon developed information that suspect Shultz could be hiding out at a home in the 2700 block of Candler Drive in Cornville,” the news release states. “Deputies contacted a resident there and learned Shultz had been seen a short time ago and may be inside a trailer on the property. Deputies and detectives surrounded the trailer, called for Shultz and he eventually came to the front door. He was taken into custody without incident.”

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov.

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