Jason Vicari, 21, was taken into custody on charges of murder, burglary, and weapon possession in connection with the death of his 81-year-old grandfather, Ronald

Advertisement
Jason Vicari
Jason Vicari
| Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office

A New Jersey man is accused of killing his grandfather with an ax.

Jason Vicari, a 21-year-old Rutgers University student, was taken into custody on charges of murder, burglary, and weapon possession in connection with the death of his 81-year-old grandfather Ronald Vicari.

According to NJ.com, Ronald was a telecommunications engineer who served on the city of Elmwood Park planning board for more than three decades.

"He was as bright as they come," Ronald's neighbor Geri Mola told NJ.com. "He was the first techie I ever met."

Jason Vicari's father called 911 around 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 19 to report that Jason had a gun and had barricaded himself inside his grandfather's New Jersey home.  

"[Jason's father] also indicated that his father was lying in the bathroom, unconscious with a wound to his head and the bathroom window was broken," according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.

Jason surrendered to police officers around 10:20 a.m. and was taken into custody.

"For the safety of the SWAT team who were about to make entry into the residence, a SWAT member asked Mr. Jason Vicari who was inside and [he] responded 'not anyone alive,'" the affidavit states.

Once in custody, a SWAT member heard Vicari "spontaneously utter from the back of the ambulance 'God told me to do it,'" according to the affidavit.

Authorities found Ronald dead with multiple abrasions to his head in the bathroom. The head of the ax that was allegedly used to strike him was found next to him. The handle of the ax was found in a cabinet in the basement, the affidavit states.

During an interview with detectives, Jason allegedly "uttered that he believed his grandfather was a monster and that God told him he would have to change his religion," according to the affidavit.

Authorities said Jason entered the home through the rear bathroom window. They later found blood on the dial of a safe that was in the basement. They also found a gun in an upstairs bedroom.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Blood stains were allegedly found on his sweatshirt and socks.

Jason allegedly told the authorities that he cut himself climbing through the bathroom window, the affidavit states.  

He is being held at Bergen County Jail.

His public defender could not be reached for comment. It is unclear if he has entered a plea.

A bond hearing in scheduled for Oct. 29.