JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A grand jury issued an indictment against a 28-year-old handyman for the beating death of two Irondale motel owners. 

On March 8, the grand jury issued a three-count indictment against Steven Richard Mulkey, including capital murder of two or more persons, according to court records. The indictment was officially filed April 1. 

Mulkey brutally killed the owners over a payment disagreement under $50, prosecutors say. 77-year-old Ching Kao and his wife, 76-year-old Siumei Kao’s bodies were found in a wooded area off of Rex Lake Road. The indictment states Mulkey used a hammer to kill them.

In addition, Mulkey also committed theft when he took the couple’s Chevrolet Impala and an undisclosed amount of money, court records say.

Police responded to the motel after one of the owners’ daughters called for a welfare check on Friday, Sept. 21, 2019. When officers responded, they found the safe stolen and blood in the motel office, and the owners, a couple in their 70s, nowhere to be found.

On Monday, Sept. 24, 2019, deputy Marshals in Staunton, Vir. caught Steven Richard Mulkey, according to U.S. Marshal Marty Keely.

A further court date has not been set for Mulkey at this time.