CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Man taken into custody for making contact with family of murder victim

Nov 20, 2021, 7:26 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:00 pm
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Utah Highway Patrol arrested a man in Washington County on Feb. 2 on suspicion of human trafficking.(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A 43-year-old man was arrested Friday after he made contact with family members of a man that he is accused of murdering.

Jesse Joel Bruce was taken into custody and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail under investigation on two counts of retaliation against a witness, victim or informant. Court documents state Bruce was not to have any contact with the victim’s family.

Court documents state that Bruce sent electronic messages to family members of the victim he is accused killing in March 2019.

According to the probable cause statement, Bruce had made threatening statements to the victim’s mother. The probable cause statement stated “he had documented evidence that the victim was raping women. Jesse said he would release the evidence if they did not “stop your endless assault against me.”

The probable cause further states that Bruce’s message went on to say  “Counter suits are pending already. How much mud do you want released against your precious family?”

According to the probable cause statement the final part of the message to the victim’s mother from Bruce says: “I have been patient. Very patient. You keep attacking me and my family in public. You know not the truth or what happened. Your guilt is driving you. It is sad, and pathetic.”

Bruce sent a separate message to the victim’s brother. It read: “Stop your family’s assault.”

Bruce’s trial was originally scheduled for early last year. However, it was put on hold due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bruce has been out on bail.

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