Man formally charged in girlfriend's murder

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Prosecutors have filed formal charges against a man accused of beating his girlfriend to death.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, 44-year-old Thomas James Valdez is now charged with first-degree felony murder and felony possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person in the death of 55-year-old Maralee Andreason.

Police were called to the apartment the couple shared in West Valley City March 9 after Valdez's uncle called police. He claimed Valdez had admitted to the murder.

Once inside, police discovered Andreason's body. Investigators haven't said how or where she died in the apartment, but they did say she suffered blunt force trauma to her body.

Valdez has a violent history. He previously served time for assault.

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