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Affidavit: Denver man bought hand saw days before killing, dismembering victim

Benjamin Satterthwaite, 28, is charged with murder in connection with the killing and dismemberment of Joshua Lockard.

DENVER — The man accused of killing and dismembering 33-year-old Joshua Lockard appeared in a Denver court for an advisement hearing at 1:30 p.m. Monday, where his preliminary hearing was set for 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 23.

Benjamin Satterthwaite, 28, is charged with:

  • One count first-degree murder
  • One count tampering with a deceased human body.

Denver Police (DPD) responded to a Dec. 29 call from Denver Parks and Recreation workers who reported they found a black and a purple suitcase, one with a human foot sticking out of it, on the side of the street in the 1700 block of South Java Way in the Mar Lee neighborhood, the affidavit says.

The affidavit says responding investigators found a baggage claim sticker that looked like it had been on a recent flight with the name "Satterthwaite" on it. Investigators later learned the sticker on the suitcase was associated with the suspect's father, who told investigators he flew into Denver on Dec. 21 to visit Benjamin Satterthwaite and his other son, according to the affidavit. 

RELATED: Affidavit: Baggage claim tag leads to murder charges for man following discovery of remains in suitcases

Satterthwaite's father also told investigators that his son had a history of drug addiction problems and had been to prison, the affidavit says.

Satterthwaite was arrested in connection with Lockard's murder after the investigator assigned to the murder was also coincidentally assigned to a Jan. 1 report of a drug overdose death at an apartment off South Federal Boulevard.

There, officers found a woman dead from an apparent overdose, as well as an unconscious man — later identified as Satterthwaite — who was subsequently taken to a hospital, also due to an apparent overdose, according to the affidavit. The affidavit also says the deceased woman was identified as Satterwaite's girlfriend.

RELATED: Arrest made after human remains found in suitcases left on side of road

The detective noticed in the apartment that there was a black suitcase similar to the one found on Java Way, suspected blood on a chair and table, trash bags with cushions that contained possible blood and cleaning supplies that indicated the location had recently been cleaned, according to the affidavit.

After getting a search warrant for the apartment, detectives then found an excessive amount of blood on a couch, as well as packaging for a hacksaw, a saw blade with suspected blood on it, a receipt for the purchase of the saw and various other items, the affidavit says.

Surveillance video obtained from a Walmart from Sunday, Dec. 27 showed a man consistent with the appearance of Satterthwaite purchasing the hacksaw, according to the affidavit.

Cell phone records from Satterthwaite's girlfriend's phone also had a message from Satterthwaite that read, "I just got that [expletive] hes toast", according to the affidavit.

Satterthwaite is accused of killing Lockard and then dismembering his corpse before placing it inside the suitcases, according to the DA. Lockard's official cause of death is still under investigation.

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