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Amanda Butterfield reportingThe man arrested for a murder in Magna that happened over a decade ago went before a judge for the first time today.
Salt Lake County investigators cracked a decade-old cold case by making an arrest for the murder of an 18-year-old girl. Today the man they arrested was in court.
Billy Justin Charles was arraigned by video conferencing at the Salt Lake County Jail this morning. During the arraignment he was read the charge he faces: first-degree felony murder. Charles told the court he cannot afford a lawyer on his own, so he will be appointed counsel by the state.
Charles is accused of killing his fiancée, Jamie Weiss, 11 years ago. The two were then living together in Magna with their then two-year-old son. The day before their wedding a relative found Weiss dead in the bathtub.
Weiss' family spoke with KSL yesterday and say, though shocked with the arrest, they always suspected Charles. Darlene Meek, Jamie's aunt, said, "It's been in the back of everybody's mind forever. He's always been our number one suspicion."
The family says the arrest has given them an opportunity to finally separate the violence and tragedy of Jaime's death from the rightful legacy of her life.
Investigators say new information from witnesses and new forensic testing led to the arrest.
Charles will next be in court in a week with his appointed counsel.