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A 76-year-old Washington City man was charged Thursday with first-degree felony murder for allegedly beating his wife to death with a hammer.

David Keith Benson killed Madeline Benson, 76, in the kitchen of their home, according to court documents.

Benson was arrested Wednesday morning after a family member called police to the Pine View Estates subdivision.

When officers arrived, Benson — who had blood on his clothes and body — kept saying he did not know why he did it, according to court documents.

An investigation revealed he struck his wife in the back of the head with hammer, which caused her to fall to the floor, court documents state. Benson then allegedly struck her repeatedly in the face with the hammer until she was dead.

The defendant made an initial appearance in 5th District Court in Washington County on Thursday afternoon.

Another hearing is set for Nov. 13.

Benson is being held at the Washington County jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond.