Mixed martial artist ripped out his friend’s tongue and still-beating heart while high on drugs because he thought he was the devil
By Rachel Quigley, 7 September 2012
A mixed-martial artist accused of ripping out his friend’s heart, removing his tongue and skinning his face while the two were on hallucinogenic drugs has pleaded guilty to murder and mayhem charges.
Jarrod Wyatt of Crescent City, California, agreed to a plea deal in which he will serve 50 years to life in prison, Del Norte County prosecutors said.
Wyatt pleaded guilty to first-degree murder involving mayhem in the March 21, 2010, death of his sparring partner, 21-year-old Taylor Powell, prosecutors said.
Admission: Jarrod Wyatt, a mixed-martial artist pleaded guilty to ripping out his friend’s still-beating heart in March of 2010 when he was high on drugs
When police arrived that day at a home at the mouth of the Klamath River, they found Wyatt naked and covered in blood.
He told the officers, ‘I killed him,’ and said he had cut out Powell’s heart and tongue, according to court documents.
The responding officer, police Sgt Elwood Lee, said Wyatt told him at the scene he saw the devil in Powell’s face and that ‘Satan was in that dude’.
He cut an 18-inch hole in Powell’s chest, removed his heart, cut his tongue off and removed a majority of Powell’s face.
An autopsy determined the organs had been removed while Powell was still alive.
He then cooked his friend’s body parts on the stove because he thought he was still alive and he needed to ‘stop the devil’.
Sgt Lee told the court: ‘At one point, [Wyatt] asked if we were God, or if we were God coming to save him.’
The pair had been drinking hallucinogenic mushroom tea prior to the incident and believed they were involved in a struggle between God and the devil.
Other people were present said Wyatt was mumbling about a tidal wave coming and the end of the world before he started fighting with Powell, who told him three times ‘You wanna f***ing die’.
‘We looked for an agreement that would at least give him the opportunity to be paroled someday,’ Fallman said. ‘As bad as 50 years to life sounds, it’s better than life without the possibility of parole.’
Wyatt had entered duel pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, prompting psychiatrists to evaluate his mental competence.
However, prosecutors argue that the act of removing Powell’s heart, tongue and face took enough time to prove evidence of intent.
In May, a judge ruled Wyatt was competent to stand trial.