WAYNE, Mich. (WJBK) - Relatives are now saying the family member accused of killing his stepgrandfather with an ax doesn't remember a thing.
Family members are still wrapping their heads around the brutal murder of Dan Dart. The 58-year-old retiree was in his backyard when his wife's 26-year-old grandson, Jesse Gundersen, allegedly hit him in the head with an ax and killed him.
"There was no witness; there were no words, no yelling, nothing," Robert Porter says. He is Gundersen's uncle. "He came in and said what he did, we all know what he did, and said 'I know I'm going to jail.'"
Porter says his sister spoke with her son, who is now police in custody, and says he dropped a bombshell.
"He has no recollection now. He asked his mom, 'Why am I here,'" Porter says.
Gundersen moved to Michigan from Fresno a month ago, abruptly quitting his job at a hospital there.
Porter says his nephew stopped cooperating with police. Their family is at a complete loss trying to figure out why it all happened. Dart considered his wife's grandson his own.
"Dan is a person everybody on this street loves," Porter says. "Everybody who knows him knows him as a happy go lucky guy and loved his grandson with all his heart.
"They got along great and never had issues. We don't have any idea [about] the whys yet. Only God knows why.
"We trust that the Lord is going to get us through each day to answer these questions for our side and the rest of Dan's family, because they want to know why too."
Porter says up until this point his nephew was not a violent person; he was stable, did well in college and worked at a hospital for 10 years.
Now he's charged with first degree murder and expected to face a judge Tuesday.