A 68-year-old man was arrested Sunday on two counts of murder stemming from the beating deaths of two people with a hammer , Las Vegas police said.
David Settle was found wearing a diaper with wounds to his ankles and head in a possible suicide attempt at an assisted living group home on Washington Avenue, near Valley View Boulevard.
Inside the residence were Henry Namett, 82, and Elenita Ablao, 59, both dead with multiple hammer wounds to their heads. Settle told investigators he struck each more than 20 times in the head, according to his arrest report.
The motive for the attack was unclear.
Settle told detectives “he actually liked both of them.” He said Namett would smile at him, and Ablao cooked for him.
But he was an alcoholic and hadn’t been going to his counseling meetings. He also felt the owner of their home was taking advantage of him financially and giving away his belongings, the report said.
Gina Harris, his ex-wife, reached Monday night in Los Angeles, said Settle had a history of drug addiction and alcoholism.
Harris, who was married to Settle for 17 years before they divorced in 1987, said he beat her during their marriage. She said she called police several times on him and pressed charges against him once for domestic violence.
Harris said she was “shaken” to learn police have connected him to two slayings.
“He must have been either drunk or stoned or losing his mind,” Harris said.
Harris and Settle had a child who is now an adult living in Los Angeles.
After the attack, Settle told police he went to a nearby Walgreens and bought a bottle of wine and Swisher Sweets cigars.
After returning to the residence, he tried to kill himself by slashing his ankles. He sat in a bathtub and tried to knock himself out by hitting himself in the head with the wine bottle and the hammer, but to no avail, according to the police report.
Harris said Settle served in Vietnam for the Air Force and might have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
She said he was depressed throughout their marriage.
“He was always upset about life,” Harris said.
She added he attempted suicide three or four times after their divorce.
Harris last heard from Settle about six months ago. She received a voice mail from him asking how she was. When Harris called Settle back, he was drunk, she said.
Settle is being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail, records show.