homepage logo

Police: Teen told investigators he killed grandfather with hammer

By Staff | Dec 6, 2011

Breeze Staff Report


A Clewiston man found dead in a truck at a Cape Coral intersection Monday was bludgeoned about the head with a hammer before his throat was cut, according to statements his grandson reportedly made to police.

Clinton Travis Drake, 19, told investigators he struck his grandfather, John William Drake, 84, multiple times before using a “hawk knife” to ensure he was dead, according to a Cape Coral police report released Tuesday afternoon.

The two had argued at his grandfather’s home in Hendry County. Drake then covered his grandfather’s body with a jacket as it lay across the seats of his pickup truck. Drake said he just drove before abandoning the 2004 Dodge in an inner turn lane off Veteran’s Parkway onto Del Prado Boulevard after being spooked by a traffic camera.

Police were contacted shortly after 4 p.m. by a caller who told a 9-1-1 dispatcher she saw what appeared to be a dead body slumped over the seat of a vehicle obstructing traffic.

The caller told police that the light had changed three times, there appeared to be no one behind the wheel, and that there was blood dripping onto the ground from the passenger’s side.

Arriving officers discovered the body of a man, later identified as John Drake, laying over the seat, head on the floorboard, torso across the console, and feet in the back seat, the police report states.

There was what appeared to be blood “throughout the truck, including spatter on the interior door window.”

Emergency medical personnel confirmed the man was dead, and multiple police and forensic units converged on the intersection.

Meanwhile, dispatchers received additional 9-1-1 calls reporting that a man was running between homes in the area and was seen swimming in a canal in the area of St. Andrew Catholic Church.

Officers searching the neighborhood heard a loud banging and discovered a wet man, later identified as Clinton Drake, on the patio of a home at 1206 S.E. 26th St.

As officers sought to detain him, Drake “began to fight and wrestle on the ground,” police reported, adding they found a knife and a Dodge key in his pants pocket.

Drake reportedly spontaneously offered the statement “I killed my grandfather” while officers were questioning witnesses.

He was read his rights and agreed to give a statement at the police department as he was wet and cold, the report states.

Drake then reportedly told investigators he and his grandfather got into an argument, he struck him, cut him, and covered the body before driving until he came to the Midpoint Bridge.

Drake said he blew the toll through the prepay lane, and then got caught in traffic off the off-ramp at Del Prado. Spotting the camera at the light, he feared he was caught on video and so ran from the truck, the report states.

He continued running as he heard sirens and search helicopters.

A hammer and a hawk knife, both with what appeared to be blood on them, were found by investigators who had obtained a warrant to search the truck.

Drake was charged with second degree murder.

Police have not yet determined why Drake drove to the Cape, Cape Coral Police Lt. Anthony Sizemore said in an email. The investigation is continuing, he said, adding they still are gathering infomation, including what caused the argument.

Drake was being held in the Lee County Jail Tuesday in the mental health ward as a “high-risk prisoner,” according to Sgt. David Velez.

Prisoners held in the unit are under 24-hour observation, he said.