Blair Watts defrauded his enterprise companion Jennifer Brown for months, prosecutors in Montgomery County talked about Thursday. And as his desperation mounted amid his crumbling restaurant plans, they talked about, he killed her and dumped her physique in a shallow grave.
Watts, 33, faces initially- and third-degree murder, theft, and connected charges in the death of Brown. He was held a lot more than for trial on all charges just soon after a marathon preliminary hearing ahead of Magisterial District Judge Richard Welsh.
The Royersford native’s lawyer, Christopher Mandracchia, vehemently contended at the hearing that the prosecution had assembled a “rubber shell of a case” that lacked proof.
“This is all circumstantial at perfect, and there is not sufficient to pass this level for a initially-degree, intentional killing,” Mandracchia talked about.
Initially Assistant District Lawyer Ed McCann disputed that characterization, saying the proof, while circumstantial, was “significant and potent.”
Watts acknowledged that he was the final person to see Brown, 43, alive in January, McCann talked about. He then reported her missing and concocted a story about her final handful of hours that the prosecutor talked about was patently false.
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Brown, Watts talked about, told him she “needed a break” from youngster care, and gave him permission to take her eight-year-old son, Noah, to his dwelling for a sleepover with his young children. But, the sleepover took spot on a college evening, and Noah did not have his needed medication, significant prosecutors to consider the arrangement was uncommon and unplanned.
Inside Brown’s apartment, detectives investigating her disappearance identified that she had left behind her function cell phone, auto keys, and wallet. Plastic shards from her hair clip had been situated embedded in the home’s carpet.
Brown and Watts had identified each and every other for a while, and had hammered out a contract partnering in a restaurant Watts had hoped to open in Phoenixville, prosecutors talked about. Monetary records showed that a lot more than the course of a handful of months, Brown had agreed to invest Watts $14,000 to be a partial investor in the eatery, Birdie’s Kitchen. She fulfilled that obligation, prosecutors talked about, properly ahead of January.
Jennifer Brown was reported missing in January. Her physique was situated two weeks later.. … Read moreMontgomery County District Attorney’s Workplace
Nonetheless, banking records revealed that added transfers for $17,000 had been made to Watts from Brown’s account just soon after he talked about he had final observed her. These transfers came just soon after other, failed transfers from Brown’s accounts, McCann talked about, and the lucrative transfers only went by way of just soon after two-problem authentication had been abruptly deactivated on Brown’s Cashapp account.
The full time, he talked about, cell phone records showed that Watts had Brown’s person cell phone. It was in no way recovered by investigators.
Other cell phone records placed Watts outdoors a warehouse in Royersford for an extended period the day just soon after he reported her missing.
Two weeks later, a passerby identified Brown’s physique in a hastily dug grave at that warehouse, prosecutors talked about. Underneath her corpse was the remainder of the shattered hair clip that had been situated in her dwelling.
An autopsy revealed that Brown had been killed by asphyxia, and her ribs had been broken. A forensic pathologist ruled her death a homicide, most most likely by choking.
Detectives researching Watts’ enterprise activity situated that he had grossly exaggerated the status of his restaurant venture, McCann talked about. He had repeatedly told detectives that he was weeks away from opening Birdie’s Kitchen.
But, the owners of the establishing specifically exactly where Watts hoped to open the eatery told detectives they had ended their enterprise partnership with him in late December. But Watts showed up at the establishing hours just soon after he claimed to have observed Brown final and told the owners he had a lot a lot more money to invest, and begged them to reconsider, McCann talked about.
When detectives visited the spot weeks later, they situated it in disarray: It was in no circumstance to be opened, McCann talked about.
Mandracchia attempted to cast doubt on McCann’s theory of the case and encouraged that a neighbor of Brown’s was a a lot a lot more most most likely suspect: The man had admitted to possessing an affair with Brown.
Welsh, the judge, was not swayed and held Watts for trial on all charges.
As Watts was led out of the courthouse, he told reporters he was innocent, and talked about he missed his young children.