'I was stabbing at him' ... Jeremy Valdes murder confession heard in court

Mar 11 2010 - 1:26am

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Valdes
Valdes

OGDEN -- Jeremy Valdes was bound over for trial in 2nd District Court on Wednesday on charges he killed Pamela Knight Jeffries and Matthew Roddy in their Roy mobile home the day before Thanksgiving.

Jeffries, 56, and her son Roddy, 30, were found dead in a closet in their home Nov. 30 after neighbors told police they hadn't seen the pair for several days. Police say Valdes killed Roddy and Jeffries on Nov. 25 after they reported to police that prescription drugs had been stolen from their home and that Valdes and Miranda Statler may have taken them.

Valdes was arrested by Roy police Dec. 1. Statler, 26, is accused of assisting Valdes the day of the murder but is not charged with homicide. The pair had been staying in the mobile home at the time of the murder.

At the beginning of Wednesday's preliminary hearing, Valdes tried to dismiss his attorney, Public Defender Gary Barr. His attempt was denied by the court, however, and the hearing went ahead. After Judge Mark DeCaria bound him over for trial, Valdes apologized for the attempt.

In the preliminary hearing, prosecutors presented testimony from the state medical examiner that 31 knife wounds were found in Roddy's body. Jeffries suffered severe head injuries but died from asphyxiation.

Roy Police Sgt. Shane Hubbard told the court he and other detectives questioned Statler after a Miranda warning, telling her that if she did not tell the truth she would go to prison for the rest of her life for something Valdes did.

Hubbard said after 20 minutes of questioning she told police what had happened. She led him to the mouth of Ogden Canyon, where she pointed to the spot in the Ogden River where the knife had been thrown. Hubbard said the knife was later recovered.

Back at the police station, Hubbard said he asked Valdes if Statler's statements that he had committed the murder were true.

"He took a deep breath and said yes, he was the one that killed Matthew and Pam," Hubbard testified. Then "he explained why he did that. He began to explain ... to discuss the knife to us."

Hubbard said the confession was so unexpected that nobody was recording it. Hubbard said he took his own recorder from his pocket and turned it on.

On the recording played for the court, Valdes can be heard describing killing Roddy.

"He turned around and I was stabbing at him," Valdes says on the recording. "I don't know if it was once or twice, the side of the neck maybe. I said 'Oh God, I killed him.' "

"Who did you say that to?" Hubbard's voice asks.

"To myself," Valdes' voice says.

He then duct-taped a bag over Jeffries' head. He and Statler left the house for several hours, driving the car to hide the knife. When they came back, Jeffries was no longer breathing.

Valdes faces trial on six counts: Two counts of criminal homicide, aggravated murder; one count of third-degree felony car theft; one count of second-degree felony obstruction of justice for trying to hide the murder weapon; and two counts of third-degree felony desecration of a body for moving the bodies to hide them in a closet.

Barr said Valdes will enter a plea of not guilty.

DeCaria set April 5 for a disposition date before a trial is set. Barr said he plans to offer several motions.

Statler is being tried separately. She is not charged with homicide, but faces charges of stealing the car, desecration of the bodies and possession of a stolen cell phone and Roddy's credit card.

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