40-year-old arrested for murder wanted for 2022 incident
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man accused of murdering a northern Nevada mother also has a warrant out for his arrest in the Las Vegas area on domestic violence-related charges, the 8 News Now Investigators confirmed Thursday.
Las Vegas Metro police arrested Jesce Richt, 40, on Monday for the shooting death of Jessica Griffin, 40, of Reno, last week. Richt is accused of shooting and killing Griffin on Tuesday, April 18.
On Monday, a Metro police officer stopped Richt driving northbound on Interstate 15 near Primm, south of Las Vegas. The officer noted Richt “followed all commands” during the stop.
Richt also uses the name Paul Watterson, police said. His most recent address is in Reno, though he has ties to Las Vegas and was recently living in a hotel in the area, documents said.
While Richt’s Washoe County case proceeds, a Henderson judge signed a warrant for his arrest Wednesday for a previous incident on charges of domestic battery strangulation and coercion, documents said.
In July 2022, a woman entered a Las Vegas bar saying a man had beaten her, documents from Henderson police said. A man, later identified as Richt, then entered the bar. The incident was believed to have occurred in Henderson, which is why Henderson police began the investigation, a report said.
Police determined Richt had previous domestic-violence-related arrested in 2013 and 2020, documents said. At the time of the July incident, Richt was on probation for a 2022 domestic battery conviction, documents said.
The woman told police Richt had hit her and threatened her life, documents said. She later told police Richt had allegedly grabbed her and threatened to kill her cat if she did not stop crying, a report said.
“He then repeatedly strangled me and tried to suffocate me by putting pillows over my face,” a report said, adding the woman was then confined to a “small spot” on a bed until she “was too weak to move.”
“I was traumatized and scared of what else he was capable of, especially knowing Jesce had a pistol,” documents said.
Griffin had filed temporary protection orders against Richt before her death, documents said.
In an application for one protection order filed on April 10, Griffin accused Richt of holding her “hostage for close to a year,” documents said.
“[There] has been numerous incidences of abuse where he has strangled, pushed, hit and caused serious injuries to me,” Griffin wrote in the request, documents said. “There is a current warrant out of this arrest here in Washoe County from the last incident where he fled the scene.”
“I have been with Jesce for the last year to protect my family and his other victim in hopes that me being with him will keep him calm enough to not hurt anyone,” Griffin wrote.
Richt faces charges of open murder in Washoe County. He was awaiting extradition to northern Nevada to face the murder charge in court. He remained at the Clark County Detention Center on Thursday as he is being held without bail.
Griffin’s friends have set up a GoFundMe page for her family, which includes two young children.
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