GARLAND, Texas - Police arrested the man accused of murdering an elderly Korean War veteran at a Garland warehouse.
Donald Ray Giles, 53, is charged with capital murder for the death of 81-year-old Donald St. Clair.
Investigators say it was Dallas police who actually caught Giles running off after a theft. A short time later, they realized he was wanted for murder and was arrested.
St. Clair’s body was found on the Fourth of July by his friend, Layth Fadhil. The Korean War veteran was living inside the warehouse and did work striping the parking lot to help pay for his rent.
“Everybody watched out for Don,” said Jeff Shaw, who owns the business next door to the warehouse. “And Don watched out for us. We call him our night security.”
Police believe Giles broke into the warehouse with the intention of burglarizing it. Surveillance video shows him entering and leaving the building and records show he has a criminal history that includes theft, burglary and assault.
Fadhil had asked St. Clair to pick up his mail over the weekend discovered his bloody and decomposing body. Court documents revealed St. Clair was struck in the head with a sledge hammer while he was in his recliner. Police say his body was there for a couple of days.
Fadhil said St. Clair was like family and is relieved police have made an arrest.
"He was a Korean War veteran. He always was proud to be an American,” said Fadhil. “I just couldn't believe it. This man does not deserve to die the way he was murdered."
Giles is charged with capital murder and is being held in the Dallas County jail on a $1 million bond.