By Shelby Sebens
(Reuters) - A Willamette University football player from California has been charged with murder after a 66-year-old man was found dead near an intersection in Salem, Oregon, prosecutors said on Thursday.
Authorities said Beau W. Smith, a 22-year-old senior at Willamette, a private liberal arts university in Salem, was accused of killing Michael Hampshire, who was found dead on Wednesday.
An autopsy at the state medical examiner's office determined the cause of death was “homicidal violence,” but authorities were not yet releasing details on how Hampshire died or any possible connection between the two men.
Smith was arrested on Wednesday and booked in the Marion County jail, according to the sheriff's office. He was to be arraigned later on Thursday, Marion County Deputy District Attorney Doug Hanson said.
Smith's attorney, Walter Todd, said his client had "fully cooperated" with the police investigation, but gave no further details.
Smith, from Roseville, California, is a wide receiver for the Willamette Bearcats in Salem, located about 45 miles south of Portland.
"We're cooperating fully with the investigation of this off-campus incident and we're taking measures to ensure the well-being of our campus community," university spokesman Adam Torgerson said. "Other than Mr. Smith being a student here, there is no other connection between this and the university.”
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)