By CHRISTIN COYNE
A Weatherford man accused in the pickaxe slaying of his friend in January pleaded guilty to capital murder Monday morning in an agreement where he avoided the possibility of the death penalty and received a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Nicholas “Nick” David Camfield, 25, killed 24-year-old John “J.D.” Daniel Doss II at a home near Springtown where Doss was house-sitting for a friend.
Pleading guilty Monday, Camfield admitted to murdering Doss while in the course of committing a burglary. Though there were no signs of forced entry to the home, Camfield did not have permission from the resident to be in the house, making the killing a capital offense, prosecutors said.
Doss, an apprentice lineman who loved fishing, woodworking, martial arts and music, would often volunteer to help family members with projects around the yard and house, his family said Monday.
The two men had known each other for years and Camfield had even lived with Doss’ family.
At one point, Doss got Camfield a job where Doss was working, according to prosecutors.
Assistant district attorneys Robert DuBoise and Nikki Rhodes requested the indictment be amended Monday to reflect when they believe the killing occurred - the evening of Jan. 13.
Days after the killing, on Jan. 16, a friend of Doss’ went to check on him at the residence in the 200 block of Valley Meadows Drive and saw blood on Camfield and in the kitchen and what he believed to be a body in one of the bedrooms.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death of Doss a homicide due to multiple, blunt force, penetrating injuries to the head and neck. Authorities said Doss’ body had been mutilated sometime after his death, as well.
Doss was last seen alive by friends that afternoon and Camfield is believed to have driven Doss’ truck to eat a meal with Camfield’s mother that evening, according to prosecutors.
It isn’t clear why Camfield killed Doss.
Camfield sent a text to someone after the slaying, saying he killed Camfield for his truck, according to DuBoise. However, during a later interview with police, Camfield didn’t give a reason, prosecutors said.
“We believe justice in this case required that the defendant never be released back into the public,” Assistant District Attorney Nikki Rhodes said. “There were many facts about this murder that were disturbing. However, deeper investigation into the defendant’s mental health history explained some of the unusual facts investigators found at the crime scene. Other details of the murder are simply inexplicable. Despite some history of mental illness and drug use, the defendant acknowledged he knew what he was doing at the time of the crime when he entered his guilty plea.”
The district attorney’s investigation reportedly revealed that Camfield had been involved in a couple of physical confrontations that had not been reported to police though he had no significant criminal history and no documented history of violence.
Officials said Camfield was homeless and living in the basement of the former Weatherford ISD administration building, which had been vacant for some time, when it was destroyed in a fire about a month prior to the killing.
The cause of that fire remains undetermined but it is believed to have started in the basement area.
Camfield began exhibiting schizophrenia after he began using heroin sometime prior to June 2010, according to Rhodes, and Weatherford law enforcement officers who interacted with Camfield on a couple of occasions in 2012 noted that Camfield appeared to have some mental health issues.
However, his defense team told the judge they believed him to be competent to stand trial and did not raise an insanity defense.
Prosecutors also believe drugs played a role in the slaying based on Camfield’s statements.
Camfield said the two argued over drugs, believed to be marijuana or K2, according to Rhodes.
After 415th District Judge Graham Quisenberry sentenced Camfield Monday for the murder, Doss’ family expressed their feelings of betrayal and anger to Camfield.
“Nick, when I held J.D. in my arms and named him after my father, it was a proud day,” the victim’s father, Gene Doss, said.
Gene Doss told Camfield that he was proud of his son because J.D. Doss was a good man.
“You are pathetic and my mistake was allowing you into my family’s life,” Gene Doss said, who said Camfield repaid them by taking a life.
“We once cared what happened to you,” Jennifer Doss, Gene Doss’ wife said.
She reportedly taught Camfield to balance a checkbook and helped teach him other life skills.
Jennifer Doss told Camfield she wanted him to listen to door being shut as he goes to prison.
Camfield will be locked away and forgotten and will have to live knowing he killed his best friend, she said.