Jonathan Welch, man out on low bond accused of murder of parents and ex, now charged with another killing
DETROIT (FOX 2) - Jonathan Welch, the Detroit man who was released on a low bond after being charged with several felonies including torture, has now been charged with a fourth murder that happened prior to his original arrest in June.
Welch was charged Thursday with the murder of Natayla Morse, 24, whose body was found in a field on Detroit's east side on June 4. Morse's body was originally unidentified but later confirmed.
According to a release from the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, Welch is accused of killing Morse with ‘blunt force trauma’ to her head, then stealing her car and setting it on fire.
Records obtained by FOX 2 did not say how Welch and Morse knew each other.
In the weeks after Morse's body was discovered, Welch was charged with going on a murderous crime spree and terrorizing his ex before killing her, his step-dad, and his mom.
A couple of days after Morse's body was discovered, Welch was charged with multiple felonies including torture after the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said he viciously attacked and sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend.
Prosecutors then say 36th District Court Magistrate Dawn White set Welch's bond at $100,000 / 10 percent cash surety. After posting the $10,000 bond, Welch walked out of jail and a few days later, his ex-girlfriend Zlayiah Frazier was dead.
Prosecutors say Welch barricaded himself in his mom's Harper Woods home and then shot at police before setting the house on fire. He is also accused of killing his step-dad Robert Bray Jr. and his mother, Flossie Nicole Bray.
Welch was arraigned for the murder of Morse on Thursday. He's due back in court for a hearing on the other three murders on Friday, March 24.
Gruesome torture details
In late August, Welch was in court for a preliminary hearing on the murders of his ex, step-dad, and mother. During that court appearance, a Detroit police detective recounted the information that Frazier had told them.
On June 12, Welch was accused of a violent and graphic attack on his ex-girlfriend. According to the prosecutor's office, he strangled Frazier, poured gasoline on her, threatened to assault her with a drill, burned her arms and legs with a metal spatula, before attempting to sexually assault her using a pole.
The first witness to testify was a detective who took Frazier's statement after that night. According to the statement, which was written but not recorded, Welch was upset about Frazier possibly talking to someone else on her phone, and he wanted to see her conversations. When she refused, he got angry and got an extension cord, metal spatula, and power drills.
The detective said all of this happened with their child in the next room. During the course of the attack, she kept tending to the child as it was crying.
Frazier told the detective that Welch wrapped the cord around her neck and would strangle her, then release, and then reapply pressure. She said he also heated up the spatula on the stove and then put it on her arm.
According to Frazier, Welch told her "if you don't tell me, this is going to continue all night."
But what happened with gasoline was extremely graphic.
Frazier told police that Welch poured gasoline between her legs and then set it on fire.
The attack, which lasted for about 4 hours, mercifully ended when Frazier ran to her neighbor's house and was able to get her help.
Frazier was able to convince Welch to take the extension cord off of her so she could help their crying child. Once she got the child calmed down, she was able to run out the front door to the home of a neighbor's house. Welch tried to pull Frazier from the porch but soon left.