Described as “quiet” and “nice” during his younger years, 19-year-old Skyler Joshua Poland was arrested to face allegations that he murdered his grandfather. A 71-year-old neighbor told the media that Poland was once a “good little kid” while growing up, he confessed that the teen was also a little “different.” The neighbor lived in a neighboring house and said that Poland and his family “kept to themselves.”
 
Poland is alleged to have killed his grandfather, Joseph Maddox (65), with an array of blunt objects. The Shingletown CA area teenager was arrested on Wednesday. Shasta County Sheriff's Office deputies were called to the Westward Ho Road home around 2 p.m. on April 19 after receiving reports of a stabbing there.
 
The lawmen found that Maddox was deceased. However, Poland’s grandmother, Judith Maddow (72), was alive but injured. She was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center for treatment and was in stable condition. Judith Maddox was discharged on the following day. 
 
Poland is being held at Shasta County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail. In Shasta County Superior Court, the Shasta County District Attorney's Office filed a criminal complaint against him with charges of murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and elder abuse. In addition, he is charged with elder abuse and two great bodily injury enhancements.
 
Poland may have used a 2-by-4 and a fireplace shovel to kill his grandfather, according to a Shasta County sheriff's report filed on April 21. Poland told officers that he repeatedly struck his grandmother in the head with a fireplace poker as she fled. He is believed to have also used a knife in the attack on his elders in the shared home. 
 
Poland told officers that it was his grandfather who had stabbed his grandmother about 30 minutes before he reported that a crime had been committed. According to the sheriff’s report, Poland said he fought his grandfather and struck him in the head with a piece of lumber. When a deputy arrived on the scene, Judith Maddox was found with multiple bleeding wounds to her head and hands. Nearby, on the floor, a kitchen knife was found.
 
Maddox told the officer that it was Poland who had killed her husband. The victim’s body was found partially lying on a couch. He was found to have multiple wounds on the back of his head and the right side of his torso. Near his head was found a 2-by-4 board.
 
Poland was quickly arrested while he talking to an officer in front of the house. In later interviews, Poland told sheriff's detectives several different stories about the fatal incident. Eventually, he admitted to his responsibility of injuring his grandparents. "Poland admitted to striking Joseph over the head with a chimney shovel and a piece of wood until he 'passed out,'" the sheriff's report states.
 
Poland told detectives he had been arguing with his grandparents about "issues" they had been having at the residence before the incident.  

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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