Monday, May 19, 2008

Michael Doyel Charged In Utah Third District Court With Murder, Obstruction Of Justice, And Theft In The Death Of Deborah Jones


While Michael Doyel's behavior has been strange since his arrest in April in connection with the disappearance of Deborah Jones, new charges filed in Utah's 3rd District Court on Monday May 19th, 2008 portray a man who executed a very thought out and calculated murder rather than someone with mental competency issues, although in this previous post, he is said to be schizophrenic. Full story published in the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. Also aired on KUTV Channel 2 and KTVX Channel 4 and KSL Channel 5.

Doyel, 47, was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, and obstruction of justice and theft, both second-degree felonies. His bail is set a $2 million. Doyel had already been indicted in federal court with abducting Jones, and charged in state court with kidnapping another woman, Patricia Miller. Monday's charges were the first filed in relation to Jones' death.

And thanks to court documents, we now have a clearer picture of how and when Deborah Jones died. It appears Jones was strangled to death at 4115 S. Redwood Road, and suffered blunt force trauma to the back of her head. A restaurant, La Jaliciense, is located at that address. A medical examiner's report estimated the death happened sometime between April 18th and April 19th. After the slaying, Doyel took the body to another location "where no one would be". He purchased a 50-gallon plastic storage container afterward, tried to hide the body with a tarp and clothing and then tried to mask the smell.

However, if Doyel purchased the plastic storage container after killing Deborah Jones, this would set the date of death on April 18th. Here's why. Elsewhere in the Deseret News article, here is the sequence of surrounding events. On April 18th, Alisa Wolcott, a friend of Jones, talked to her on the phone just after 1:30 p.m. She said Jones sounded "anxious" and "hurried." It was the last time any of Jones' friends or family talked to her. At 5:50 p.m. that same day (April 18th), Doyel purchased a 50-gallon plastic storage container from Lowe's in West Jordan. Then a day later, on April 19th, he bought a tarp, bungee cords and deodorant from a Wal-Mart in West Valley City just before 4 p.m. This is unchanged from previous accounts. So if the medical examiner believes that Doyel bought the storage container AFTER killing Jones, then the date of death would almost have to be April 18th.

And here's some more new information. On the night of April 18th, Doyel picked up Patricia Murray, who noticed an empty plastic storage container in the back of Doyel's car. He dropped Murray off at a restaurant and didn't return until several hours later. When he picked her up, "the storage container had obviously been filed with something". This doesn't necessarily mean that Doyel killed Jones while Murray was at the restaurant, though. He could have used the time to go and recover Jones' body and stash it in the container. You can read a more expanded timeline of events HERE.

Court documents also provide a clearer picture on how Doyel met Jones. Upon first meeting, he used a false name. He moved in with her at her Sugar House home on October 3rd, 2007 and moved out six months later on April 5th, following a series of arguments. Afterwards, Doyel started harassing and stalking Jones as well as some of her co-workers. On April 16th, Jones met with Salt Lake police to talk about money she believed Doyel had stolen from her account. She was also interested in getting a protective order against Doyel. Jones was "angry" at Doyel but also "scared" of him, according to court documents. She was scheduled to meet again the next day with police but never showed up. Salt Lake Police later explained why they didn't react more quickly; according to them, Jones didn't declare herself in imminent danger during her meeting with them.

Finally, after a cross-country odyssey via Las Vegas, Doyel and Murray were found at a motel near Branson, Missouri on April 21st, with Jones' body, bound at the hands and feet with bungee cords, discovered in the plastic container in the car.

Jones' family members have probably known about this information for some time and have been waiting anxiously for these charges against Doyel to be filed. "They purposely waited because they already had charges to hold him in jail. Because of that, they were able to get a more solid case. So we feel better about that," said Bryan Jones, Deborah's son.

Bryan has called Doyel a monster and said that even though this isn't a death penalty case, he will push for it anyway. "We want to see him beg for his life and see him plead, so he gets the feeling my mom had", said Bryan. But the DA's office said a case needs to be classified as aggravated assault for them to pursue the death penalty. If Doyel is convicted on this murder charge, he could face 15 years to life in prison.

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