Blair Watts cheated on his business enterprise companion, Jennifer Brown, for months, Montgomery County prosecutors stated Thursday. And as his desperation grew amid his ruined plans for the restaurant, they stated, he killed her and dumped her physique in a shallow grave.
Watts, 33, faces 1st- and third-degree murder, theft and connected charges in Brown’s death. He was held for trial on all charges right after a marathon preliminary hearing prior to Magisterial District Judge Richard Welsh.
The Royersford native’s lawyer, Christopher Mandracchia, fiercely argued at the hearing that the prosecution had place collectively a “rubber shell case” that lacked proof.
“This is circumstantial at greatest, and there is not sufficient to rise above this level for 1st degree, intentional homicide,” Mandracia stated.
1st Assistant District Lawyer Ed McCann disputed that characterization, saying the proof, even though circumstantial, was “important and strong.”
Watts admitted he was the final particular person to see Brown, 43, alive in January, McCann stated. He then reported her missing and created up a story about her final couple of hours that prosecutors stated was patently false.
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Brown, Watts stated, told him she “necessary a break” from caring for the youngsters and gave him permission to take her eight-year-old son, Noah, to her dwelling for a sleepover with her youngsters. Nevertheless, the sleepover occurred on a college evening and Noah did not have the required medication, major prosecutors to think the arrangement was uncommon and unplanned.
At Brown’s apartment, detectives investigating her disappearance found she had left behind her operate cell telephone, automobile keys and wallet. Plastic pieces of her hair clip have been discovered in the carpet of the residence.
Brown and Watts had identified each and every other for some time and had entered into a partnership agreement on a restaurant Watts hoped to open in Phoenixville, prosecutors stated. Economic records show that more than numerous months, Brown agreed to spend Watts $14,000 to be a partial investor in Birdie’s Kitchen. She fulfilled that obligation, prosecutors stated, lengthy prior to January.
Jennifer Brown was reported missing in January. Her physique was discovered two weeks later… … Study extra Montgomery County District Attorney’s Workplace
Nevertheless, bank records revealed that an further $17,000 in transfers have been created to Watts from Brown’s account right after he stated he final saw her. These transfers followed other, unsuccessful transfers from Brown’s accounts, McCann stated, and the profitable transfers only occurred right after two-issue authentication was abruptly disabled on Brown’s Cashapp account.
All along, he stated, cell telephone records showed Watts had Brown’s private cell telephone. Investigators by no means discovered him.
Other cell telephone records placed Watts outdoors a warehouse in Royersford for an extended period the day right after he reported her missing.
Two weeks later, a passerby found Brown’s physique in a hastily dug grave in that warehouse, prosecutors stated. Beneath her corpse was the remains of a broken hair clip that was discovered in her dwelling.
An autopsy showed that Brown died of suffocation and that her ribs have been broken. A forensic pathologist ruled her death a homicide, possibly asphyxiation.
Detectives investigating Watts’ business enterprise activity discovered that he had significantly exaggerated the status of his restaurant venture, McCann stated. He repeatedly told detectives that he was weeks away from opening Birdie’s Kitchen.
Nevertheless, the owners of the developing exactly where Watts had hoped to open a restaurant told detectives they ended their business enterprise partnership with him in late December. Nevertheless, Watts showed up at the developing hours right after he claimed to have final noticed Brown and told the owners he had extra funds to invest and begged them to reconsider, McCann stated.
When detectives visited the web-site a couple of weeks later, they discovered it in disarray: unable to open, McCann stated.
Mandracia attempted to cast doubt on McCann’s theory of the case and recommended that Brown’s neighbor was a extra most likely suspect: The man admitted to getting an affair with Brown.
Welsh, the judge, was not swayed and retained Watts for trial on all counts.
As Watts was led out of the courthouse, he told reporters he was innocent and stated he missed his youngsters.