GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Electronic tether data, surveillance video and the victim’s pacemaker helped police establish a timeline of when Richard Jekel died and when Devon Matthews drove away in his car, court documents show.

Matthews, 26, was arraigned Thursday morning on charges of open murder and felony firearm in Jekel’s death.

Jekel, 69, was found shot dead in the back seat of his own car on the evening of June 6 on Horton Avenue SE near the intersection of Alger Street SE and S. Division Avenue. Police discovered Jekel’s body when they went to arrest Matthews on an aggravated stalking charge.

“To locate that individual and make that arrest and then locate that unbelievably horrific crime scene, located in the back of this vehicle, is just a sickening crime,” Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Winstrom told News 8. “And I’m glad an individual is in custody and they will be brought to justice.”

An undated courtesy photo of Richard Jekel with his grandson.
An undated courtesy photo of Richard Jekel with his grandson.

A court document says Wyoming police, who were handling the stalking case, moved to arrest Jekel as he left the bathroom of the nearby Salvation Army Kroc community center. Meanwhile, GRPD police officers checked out the car Matthews had been driving, which was parked on nearby Horton. The Grand Rapids officers “noticed a plastic tablecloth in the backseat that appeared to be covering something,” the document said.

“Officers were able to see part of a human torso sticking out of the tablecloth and entered the vehicle,” the document continued. “Under the tablecloth a deceased male (Richard Jekel) was located with a gunshot wound to the head.”

Matthews was wearing an electronic tether because he was out on bond on another aggravated stalking charge. The court document says data from that tether showed he hadn’t left Grand Rapids in the 24 hours before he was arrested.

The tether and surveillance video also put Matthews and Jekel in the same church parking lot on Jefferson Avenue near Burton Street SE between 10:07 a.m. and 10:22 a.m. June 6, the document said. The medical examiner told investigators that Jekel’s pacemaker stopped working around 10:18 a.m. The document says surveillance video shows Jekel’s car leaving the lot around 10:22 a.m. and that the tether data shows Matthews was in it.

Family told police that Jekel, who generally lived out of his car, had a habit of resting in church parking lots during the day. The document also says Matthews was at the lot “stalking his child’s mother.”

“No connection other than proximity on the morning of 6/6/22 has been made between Jekel and Matthews at this time,” the document says.

State police lab testing linked a gun recovered from Matthews with a casing and bullet found in Jekel’s car, the court document says, “concluding that Matthews ran from Jekel’s car with the firearm that was used to kill Jekel.”