19-year-old beat man to death with hammer, rocks because he thought victim was ‘seducing’ him, police say

Matthew Earl Speakman, 19, is charged with one count of first-degree murder, theft of property,...
Matthew Earl Speakman, 19, is charged with one count of first-degree murder, theft of property, and felony possession of drug paraphernalia.(Independence County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 2:09 PM EDT
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INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT/Gray News) – An Arkansas man accused of beating another man to death claims he did it because he was afraid the victim was trying to “seduce” him.

A judge found probable cause this week to charge Matthew Earl Speakman, 19, with one count of first-degree murder, theft of property and felony possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to court documents, the 19-year-old is accused of beating 49-year-old Jason Anderson to death on May 17.

After receiving a phone call from a “hysterical female,” sheriff’s deputies discovered Anderson’s body in a bathtub at his home, the affidavit stated.

“Upon removing the deceased from the bathtub, deputies located a hammer, hammer handle, and three large rocks within the bathtub,” the court documents said.

Investigators also reported finding “bloody shoeprints on the floor of the living area coming from the bathroom area.”

During their investigation, detectives learned that Anderson “had an encounter” with Speakman earlier that morning.

A deputy located Speakman and noticed that his shoes appeared to “have the pattern of the bloody shoeprints found inside the residence of the deceased,” the affidavit stated.

After photographing the shoes, the deputy took Speakman to the sheriff’s office for a formal interview.

“Speakman stated the victim was nude, trying to seduce him into sex, and he found a hammer on the coffee table and struck him in the head at least four times and one time with a large set of rocks,” the affidavit stated. “Speakman stated he struck the victim one time in the head in the living area, and the rest of the strikes took place after the victim crawled to the bathtub and was inside the bathtub.”

Speakman told detectives he “was defending himself” but admitted that Anderson “stopped fighting against him after only a couple strikes with the hammer.”

According to the court documents, Speakman claimed he was “in fear that [Anderson] would try to have sex with him anyways.”

Jail records show Speakman is being held at the Independence County Jail on a $1 million bond.