BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A 28-year-old man was held Tuesday on a second-degree murder charge after he allegedly beat a homeless man to death for shorting him $5 in a crack-cocaine sale, authorities said.
James Morton, of Boynton Beach, was held without bond in the Palm Beach County Jail. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney. Morton is accused in the Aug. 29 beating death of Thomas Richardson, 52, whose bloodied body was found in an alley near a gas station, according to a Boynton Beach police report.
The suspect's uncle, Odell Morton Jr., later informed investigators that his nephew told him he pushed and punched Richardson after the man failed to pay him $5 he owed him for a previous crack-cocaine purchase, according to the report. Odell Morton also told police that his nephew said Richardson was alive when he left the scene.