HOUSTON (AP) — A man accused of killing three people who were likely homeless placed the bodies of two of them in large drums, burned them and then hid the remains in an abandoned warehouse, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Jamie Walter has been charged with capital murder in the deaths of two of the people.
Houston police officers had responded Tuesday to a domestic disturbance at the abandoned warehouse when they were told about possible human skeletal remains there.
Walter led officers to where the bodies had been dumped and initially told them that his wife had killed the two people, prosecutor Charles Brodsky said during a hearing Thursday.
Later, Walter, 27, told officers he and his wife had fatally hit the two men on their heads with a hammer, Brodsky said.
According to court records, these two victims were identified as Monty Kaiser and Donald Fleming, and Walter is accused of killing them on April 6.
"A few weeks later, the defendant moved the bodies to an abandoned warehouse, where he put them in 55 gallon drums and burned the bodies. After they were burned, he dumped the remains in the warehouse," Brodsky said.
Authorities have not released any details on the third victim, whose remains were also found at the warehouse.
Brodsky said officers interviewed Walter's wife, who was not identified by authorities, "who stated that she was with the defendant when he killed both of the (victims). She stated that she watched the defendant hit both of the (victims) in the head with a hammer. She has tried to stay away from the defendant since that day."
No motive for the killings was discussed during Thursday's hearing and police have declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
Magistrate Judge Eric Hagstette ordered that Walter be held without bond. Walter requested a court-appointed attorney, who had not yet been assigned.
In July, Walter was charged with aggravated assault of a family member after he allegedly used a hammer to attack his girlfriend, Rachel Johnson.
According to court documents, Walter was accused of fracturing Johnson's skull with the hammer after an argument and also slashing her leg with a machete at an abandoned warehouse close to the one where the bodies were found.
Hagstette issued a protective order on behalf of Johnson against Walter. It was not immediately known if Johnson was the woman officers interviewed in the murder case.
In 2012, Walter was sentenced to two years in state prison after pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities said he assaulted a man with a pipe.
Walter has also previously been arrested on drug and forgery charges.
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