Inmate charged in 2012 Westside killing

Police: 59-year-old was found dead in home in December 2012

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man serving a four-year sentence for credit card fraud wrote a letter from prison confessing to killing a 59-year-old man in December 2012, according to Jacksonville police.

Jason Chase, 30, is now charged with murder in the killing of Robert Ford (pictured below) at Ford's Westside home on Aldington Drive.

Police said Chase beat Ford to death with a baseball bat after Ford took Chase into his home off the streets.

"We actually got DNA back from the baseball bat, which identified the suspect is the one who had it," Asst. Chief Chris Butler said.

Police said a relative of Ford's called with concern for his well-being after his family hadn't heard from him for several days.

Ford was found dead inside. Police said it appeared he had been dead about a week.

Police reports showed a number of crimes against Ford in the previous 13 years. He had reported his home broken into several times, his truck broken into and glass broken. He'd also been the victim of identity theft. The reports did not show anyone arrested for any of the crimes.

Ford had two sons and four grandchildren. He was a Navy veteran and lived at his home by himself, according to his family.

Police said they believed Chase was responsible for the killing since the beginning, but it took time to build evidence and a case against him.

They said the credit card fraud took place before the killing and was unrelated.

He's being held at the Duval County jail without bond.

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