When Jacob Randall Young, 19, was questioned by New Port Richey Police about the death of his grandfather, he told officers he hit the 69-year-old in the head with a hammer and then washed the blood off.
He said he did it because his grandfather, Frank Janczlik Jr., wouldn’t stop yelling, according to an arrest affidavit.
Police noticed two wounds on the 69-year-old man’s head that seemed like they were from blunt force trauma, and the hammer was found in the kitchen, the report said. On March 18, police arrested Young on charges of first-degree murder.
But on March 19, an autopsy revealed an inconsistency - medical examiners determined the true cause of death was due to a .22 caliber bullet to the head from a long rifle. Prosecutors are now charging him with second-degree murder.
Detective Sergeant Greg Williams with New Port Richey Police said they didn’t notice any signs that would suggest the victim was shot at close range. There was no reason not to believe Young’s confession of using the hammer.
The rifle was later found on the other side of a duplex where Young and Janczlik lived together in the 5000 block of Shaw Street. When confronted by another detective, Young admitted he lied but did not say why, Williams said.
“It’s very odd to me,” he said. “My speculation is maybe somebody feels that it’s more serious to use a gun to kill somebody.”
The round was small enough that it didn’t have a large push, which is why there may not have been an exit wound, Williams said.
Police have been working with the state attorney’s office to correct the reports since the autopsy revealed this new information, Williams said.
Young had called police on March 18 and said he found his grandfather dead in a recliner. A report from an officer on scene noted that Young did not show initial remorse and only cried when neighbors came by.
“I noticed once the neighbors left the area, [Young] stopped crying immediately,” according to the report.
Officers noted in their report that Young appeared to suffer from mental health issues. They questioned him to determine if he could understand wrong from right.
Young remains in jail without bond.
Sari Janczlik, the daughter of Frank Janczlik Jr., wrote in an email to a Tampa Bay Times reporter that her dad had good character and took on challenges left to him, including raising children who were not his own. She called Young Janczlik’s “step grandson.”
“Cannot do much to revive my father now, but I’m just hoping to see the right kind of justice through this horrible nightmare,” she said.
Janczlik was a general contractor, but studied mass communication and photography at the University of West Florida, his daughter said. His family members had not visited during the pandemic because he was undergoing treatment for skin cancer, his daughter said. He beat the cancer in January.
“He was really just feeling alive again,” Sari Janczlik wrote.