A teammate is charged with killing a wrestler for a Christian university

Feb 26, 2024, 5:13 AM | Updated: 9:52 am

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A college wrestler in Kentucky was killed by a teammate at a private Christian university over the weekend, authorities said.

Josiah Kilman, 18, was pronounced dead at a hospital after police officers were called early Saturday to Campbellsville University in central Kentucky, police said in a news release. The freshman theology major and wrestling team member from Columbia Falls, Montana, was found unresponsive in his dorm room, the university said.

A state autopsy determined Kilman had been strangled, but a motive remains undetermined, police said Monday.

A campus lockdown was lifted after Charles Escalera, 21, a wrestler and sophomore pre-engineering major from Moore, Oklahoma, was arrested Saturday evening by state police following a report of a suspicious person in a barn, police and school officials said.

He was charged with murder and second-degree burglary, and bond was set at $2 million, court records show. Escalera was found in a residence and admitted to breaking into it and taking food, police said in an arrest document.

A defense attorney listed in court records for Escalera did not immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment. His arraignment was continued to March 6.

Kilman’s family said in a statement that he had a “passionate heart on fire for the Lord” and dreamed of leading others to follow God, WLEX-TV reported.

“Josiah influenced many hearts as he was a true example of compassion, kindness, and love,” the family said. “His example compelled so many others to make the same changes he wished to see in the world, and his impact on their lives will never truly be forgotten.”

University President Joseph Hopkins said in a statement to the campus community that Kilman was a “bright light, and a person of incredible hope,” saying his faith was contagious. Hopkins said he prayed Sunday with wrestlers and coaches.

“I told them the wrestling team is about to get much bigger as you, our staff, students, and this community, stand with them over the coming days and months,” he wrote.

The university enrolls about 1,200 students in Campbellsville and about 11,000 systemwide, the school said.

National News

Associated Press

Several people shot at Oakland Juneteenth Celebration, police say

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A Juneteenth celebration turned violent when several people were shot, police in Oakland, California, said. The Lake Merritt event on Wednesday night was largely peaceful, with as many as 5,000 in attendance, until a sideshow involving “motorbikes and vehicles” took place at Bellevue and Grand avenues at around 8:15 p.m. on […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Probe finds carelessness caused Jewish student group’s omission from New Jersey high school yearbook

An investigation into how and why a Jewish student group was erased from a New Jersey high school yearbook found the omission was caused by negligence and carelessness, but was not done on purpose or out of malice, the school district announced Wednesday. East Brunswick Public Schools hired a law firm to investigate after the […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Shooting in Philadelphia wounds 7 people, police say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seven people were wounded Wednesday evening in a shooting in Philadelphia, police said. The shooting happened just before 6:30 p.m. in North Philadelphia. The victims include a 19-year-old man who was shot in the leg, a 31-year-old woman shot in the hand, a 23-year-old man shot in the buttock, and two women […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Boaters find $1 million of cocaine floating off Florida Keys

MIAMI (AP) — Recreational boaters found $1 million worth of cocaine floating in the ocean off the Florida Keys. Samuel Briggs II, the acting chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, wrote about the find in a social media post on X. Briggs posted video Monday night showing the wrapped packages of cocaine being […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

Police credit New Yorkers for suspect’s arrest in the rape of a 13-year-old girl

NEW YORK (AP) — Residents of a New York City neighborhood were praised for their role in the arrest of an Ecuadorian accused of raping a 13-year-old girl, a crime that the city’s police commissioner said “shocked our entire city.” Christian Geovanny Inga-Landi, 25, was arrested early Tuesday outside a deli in Corona, Queens. He […]

17 hours ago

Associated Press

New law requires all Louisiana public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom, the latest move from a GOP-dominated Legislature pushing a conservative agenda under a new governor. The legislation that Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed into law on Wednesday requires a poster-sized display […]

19 hours ago

A teammate is charged with killing a wrestler for a Christian university