Arizona Man Stops Deputy in Middle of the Road and Confesses to Murder

It all started with a disagreement about "reading the Bible."

As decades of Law & Order reruns have trained us, confessions to the police don't tend to come easy. Except for last week in Arizona, when a man flagged down a deputy in the middle of the street and confessed to killing his stepfather. Read on to find out what led to the unusual event and where the suspect is now. 

Man Flagged Down Deputy In Middle of Highway

Police officer in his squad car, talking on his radio.

NBC News reported that a sheriff's deputy saw Jay Albert Stevens, 52, at about 1 a.m. on Sept. 8 in the middle of Central Highway near the area of McNeal in southern Arizona, sheriff's spokesperson Carol Capas said. Stevens waved down the deputy, then said he had shot and killed his stepfather, Mark Kilbourne, 61.

Stevens said he got into a verbal altercation with Kilbourne about "reading the Bible" and shot his stepfather twice, once in the chest, the authorities said.

Man Confessed to Sister First

Police officer interrogating criminal in handcuffs at desk indoors

"Then he took some time, dropped off his animals at his sister's house and asked her to call the police because he killed someone," said Capas. "He then walked out into the street, and that was when he flagged down our deputy."

Argument Over Bible Reading Blamed

Sunday readings, Bible

Stevens took deputies to a home where Kilbourne, 61, was found dead. The two men got into an argument on Wednesday afternoon, when Kilbourne accused Stevens of never having read the Bible or understood it, the sheriff's office said.

After the men argued in the garage of their shared home, Stevens went to his bedroom, where he "stewed" for several hours. Ultimately, he confronted Kilbourne with a .40 caliber handgun in the living room, the authorities said.

"Major Dislike" For Stepfather

Two caucasian old father and son family are serious talking at laptop computer in living room home office with frown faces.

Stevens had known Kilbourne for more than 20 years, the sheriff's office said. About four years ago, at Kilbourne's request, Stevens moved from Washington to Arizona to help care for his mother before her death. Stevens told detectives he viewed his stepfather with "major dislike" and had spent "a lot of years putting up with his [stuff]," authorities told NBC News.

Suspect Held on $1 Million Bond

Judge with a gavel

Stevens was arrested early Thursday and charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of abandonment or concealment of a dead body, the Cochise County Attorney's Office said. He is being held on a $1 million bond. NBC News reported that Stevens' attorney, Sara Xochitl Orozco, had no comment. Stevens is expected to be arraigned in two weeks, but the official date is still pending.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more
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