LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The head of a man who police said was killed and decapitated by the mother of his children was missing weeks after his accused killer allegedly threw it in the trash, prosecutors said Friday.
Henderson police arrested Devyn Michaels, 45, on Aug. 15 on one charge of open murder. Michaels was accused of killing Johnathan Willette, 46.
A grand jury indicted Michaels on the charge on Thursday, prosecutors announced during a Friday court hearing.
On Aug. 7, police received a call from a woman who said she found Willette in his bed and that she believed that he was dead, documents said.
When officers arrived, they discovered that Willette’s head had been severed from his body and was not in the room. Officers also immediately smelled chemicals, believed to be bleach and ammonia, which appeared to have been applied to the body since “smoke” was seen coming from it, police said.
When police spoke to Michaels, she told them that she did not live with Willette, but that they were in the process of moving in together to make it easier on their children, documents said. However, this move was complicated because Michaels was married and lived with Willette’s son.
Michaels later told police that on the night of Willette’s death, the two were sitting on a bed and Willette was trying to get Michaels to perform a sexual act on him. She said while he was lying face down rubbing her back, she grabbed a wooden stick and hit him in the back of the head, causing his arms to go limp, documents said.
Michaels told police that she didn’t want to kill him but wanted to hurt him enough so that he would have to go to the hospital because she wanted him out of the way so she could figure out what to do with her children, according to police.
Willette’s mother later told police that a meat clever was missing from the home, documents said.
During an interview with police, Michaels never admitted to decapitating Willette and detectives never specified whether or not his head was located.
Michaels is accused of throwing the head in the trash, Chief Deputy District Attorney John Giordani said during a Friday hearing. The head was then likely picked up by a trash service. It was unclear Friday which trash facility workers may have brought the head.
In addition to the murder charge, Michaels was also charged with violating probation on an earlier child abuse charge, records showed.
Michaels was expected to be arraigned in district court following the grand jury’s indictment next week.