Salt Lake County Sheriff's investigators have made an arrest in connection with an 11-year-old homicide.
Billy Justin Charles, 31, was charged with first-degree felony murder today in 3rd District Court following his arrest late Wednesday night. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, where he is being held on $1 million bail.
Charles is accused of killing his live-in fiance Jamie Weiss, 18, on Aug. 7, 1996. The two were scheduled to be married the next day, according to court documents. The couple had a 2-year-old son together. There also were reports Weiss was pregnant again, according to a Deseret News story from 1996.
Charles' sister, Lisa, went to pick up Weiss that morning so the two could get their nails done, court documents stated. When she arrived she found the 2-year-old "in the front yard, unattended, walking around without a diaper on, but with a shirt," according to court documents. She found Weiss' body in a guest bathroom inside the trailer, 3769 S. 8500 West. She was "lying fully submerged in a full bathtub with water running over her lifeless body," court documents stated.
Billy Charles had stopped by his sister's house early that morning before going to work. Billy and Jamie owned a pit bull at their home that was "unfriendly to any strangers coming onto the property," according to court documents.
An autopsy conducted shortly after the murder showed Weiss died as a result of blunt force trauma and asphyxiation.
At the time, neighbors reported they often heard Weiss and Charles fighting.
Billy Charles showed up at his home several hours after police arrived. He stated that his truck had broken down, forcing him to park it a mile away and walk the rest of the way, according to court documents. He told another later, however, that his truck had simply run out of gas, court documents stated.
An inspection conducted later by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper determined the truck was both operable and had enough gas, court documents stated.
Charles told investigators, after his Miranda rights were read, that Jamie had helped him get his truck moving that morning by sitting in the driver's seat while he did some work underneath, according to court documents. A neighbor later told police, however, that he watched Charles drive away that morning with no help and that there did not appear to be any problems with the truck.Charles also told detectives that Weiss was wearing red short-pants that morning. Investigators searching the home found a pair of red short-pants at the bottom of a laundry hamper that were "soaking wet," according to court documents.