Suspect in beating death of homeless man slept near crime scene for days, police say


Damon Echols

Tue, Mar 13, 2018 (10 p.m.)

After severely beating a homeless man with a pipe, the suspect allegedly left the victim to die in a west valley drainage tunnel — ignoring his shallow breathing hours later — and sleeping near the murder scene for days after the man died, according to a Metro Police arrest warrant.

Almost a month elapsed before police were told on Jan. 1 that the body of Arthur “Jack” Crumb was decomposing in the tunnels near Lake Mead Boulevard and Buffalo Drive, police said.

On Friday, police arrested Damon Echols, 23, on one count of murder. He’s being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.

Through a woman that knew both men, investigators learned that the morning of Dec. 7 Echols admitted beating Crumb with a pipe, police said.

“Echols told (the woman) he had beaten Crumb to the point he felt almost resulted in Crumb’s death, so he stopped,” according to the arrest warrant. The woman then saw the beaten man leaning against a wall with a head injury and a severe injury to his arm, police said.

More than 12 hours later, the woman said, she could hear that Crumb was struggling to breathe, according to police. That’s when, the woman said, she saw Echols “walk down the tunnel to the area Crumb was located then heard Crumb go silent.”

When he returned, Echols was carrying a rebar pipe, admitting that that’s the tool he’d used to beat Crumb earlier, the woman told police. When she went to check on the man that night, he had no pulse, she added.

The woman and Echols continued living in the tunnels for four more days, before the man told her that he was fleeing to California, police said.

Echols is scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Monday morning, jail logs show.

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