Walking Dead fan kills 'zombie' friend in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico(Reuters, AFP) - A New Mexico man who had been watching the hit TV series The Walking Dead beat his friend to death because he believed the victim was turning into a zombie, police said on Monday.

Damon Perry, 23, of Prewitt, New Mexico, is charged with murder after allegedly attacking Christopher Paquin, also 23, with kicks, punches, sharp-edged objects and items including a guitar and a microwave oven, police said.

He then went after other tenants in his apartment complex in the small town of Grants, who managed to call police.

Damon Perry is accused of killing a friend because he thought the man was "turning into a zombie" after watching the hit TV series The Walking Dead, Grants Police Department in Grants, New Mexico, said. PHOTO: REUTERS  

He and Paquin had been "binge" watching episodes of the popular AMC show, which centres on a zombie apocalypse, according to police in Grants, about 130km west of Albuquerque.

Officers were called to an apartment there last Thursday afternoon after receiving reports that an intoxicated, knife-wielding man was chasing a woman, police said.

When they arrived, they found two maintenance workers pinning Perry to the ground, and then discovered Paquin's body. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

"Perry told investigators he had been drinking large amounts of alcohol when his friend began to 'change into a zombie,'" the police department said in a statement.

Grants Police Detective Moses Marquez said the murder was one of the "weirdest and most gruesome" homicides he had known.

He told AFP: "The scene was pretty gruesome and his confession was bizarre," adding, "He attributes this murder to him drinking way too much and binge watching The Walking Dead."

Marquez said Perry told investigators that he sprang into action when his friend "began to change into a zombie" and attempted to bite him.

He said an initial investigation found that Perry, a father of two, had no history of mental illness.

Perry is being held at the Cibola County Detention Center on US$800,000 (S$1.1 million) cash only bond.

His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. A preliminary hearing in the case is set for Nov 3.