A man who was accused of stabbing his friend to death and stuffing him in a closet to conceal the murder was denied bail today.

Bednago Harper, 46, of the 4000 block of South Lake Park Avenue, was charged with murder in the death of Jermaine Reynolds, 39, who was found in a closet of an apartment at the Lake Park Avenue address, officials said.

Prosecutors said the pair were friends and that Harper often bought crack from Reynolds. But on Nov. 4, Harper and the victim got into an argument because Harper believed Reynolds had his missing unemployment card, Assistant State's Attorney Sheri Bennet said in Bond Court today.

The argument came to blows and Harper grabbed an awl, a wood carving tool, and stabbed Reynolds about 40 to 50 times, Bennet said. He also sliced Reynolds' head several times.

Harper then took Reynolds' phone and keys, dragged his body to his bedroom, put him in a closet of the South Side apartment and covered him with clothes, Bennet said.

The next day, Bennet said, a witness said Harper stopped by her house and said a guy had forced him into his apartment and tried to rob him of $14. The witness said Harper told her he hit the man over the head, then got a pick and "(Expletive) that (expletive) up."

Harper then told the woman the man had gone into the closet and died and he thought the body was still in his house, Bennet said.

Painters working in the Oakland neighborhood building three days later smelled a foul odor coming from Harper's apartment and notified the manager, who entered the unit and found Reynolds' body in the closet, the prosecutor said.

The Cook County medical examiner's office determined Reynolds, of the 1800 block of South Drake Avenue, had died of sharp force trauma from more than 30 stab wounds, including three wounds that penetrated his skull and struck his brain.

Police recovered the blood-stained awl and Reynolds' keys from the kitchen counter of Harper's apartment, Bennet said.

Harper was arrested Nov. 9 on the 7500 block of South Chappel Avenue and was taken to Saint Bernard Hospital and Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation, officials said.

agrimm@tribune.com