Columbia man arrested after police say he stabbed his mother to death

A Columbia man is charged with murder after police say he stabbed his mother to death at their home in Lexington County.

J.W. Hayes Jr., 40, is charged with murder and possessing a weapon during a violent crime, according to warrants.

A caretaker found Hayes’ mother, 60-year-old Jocelyn Murray, at the Waters at Berryhill apartments after the stabbing on Friday morning, Sheriff Jay Koon said in a statement.

“Based on what detectives have determined during their investigation, Hayes stabbed Murray with a knife multiple times sometime between Thursday night and early Friday morning,” Koon said. “Hayes then took his mother’s debit card and unlawfully used after fleeing the scene.”

Around noon Friday, Capt. Adam Myrick announced that deputies were looking for Hayes as a person of interest. Hayes lived at the apartment with his mother, according to investigators.

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies located Hayes and arrested without incident Friday afternoon. He’s jailed at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

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David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.