Jonathan Welch, 23, was freed after torturing his then-girlfriend, Zlayiah Frazier, only to kill her, his mother, and his father days later.
Welch is now facing an additional first-degree murder charge for allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend, Natayla Morse, that same month before dumping her body in a field and setting fire to her vehicle. Authorities have not revealed why it took so long to connect Welch to the incident.
According to the Detroit News, Welch was arrainged on Thursday and remanded to jail after pleading not guilty. A probable cause conference is set to be held on April 5, with a preliminary examination scheduled for April 12.
Police say Welch allegedly killed Morse "with blunt force trauma" on the evening of June 4, 2022, just two days after attacking Frazier, who was also the mother of his child.
"It is alleged that on June 4, 2022, at approximately 10:46 p.m., Defendant Welch killed the victim with blunt force trauma," officials said. "It is also alleged that the defendant took the victim’s vehicle to the area of Lappin Street and Beland Street before setting it on fire."
Welch had been arrested in June on charges that he beat Frazier, threatened her with a drill, burned her with a spatula, and attempted to sexually assault her, among other things.
In the following weeks, Welch was hit with a slew of charges in connection with the attack, including torture, first-degree home invasion, use of a harmful device, third-degree criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and three counts of felonious assault. His bond was set at $100,000.
After posting 10 percent of the amount via a bond agency, Welch was ordered to live with his mother. He then allegedly murdered her, his father, and Frazier. Welch's 1-year-old baby was found in the back yard, unharmed.
"This is the court's worst nightmare," Judge Kenneth King said following the murders. "The witness has been killed after the defendant was placed on bond, given the benefit of being placed on bond with house arrest."
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