Warren Watson sexually assaulted Claudia Miller before killing her, indictment says (64)
Update: Earlier this month, we told you that Warren Watson had been captured in Idaho after being named a person of interest in the slaying of Lakewood family attorney Claudia Miller; see our previous coverage in its entirety below.
Photos and more below.
Now, a grand jury has named Watson in eighteen charges, including first-degree murder -- and the indictment, also shared here, details a shocking crime in which the victim was sexually assaulted before being killed.
On March 5, according to the section of the document devoted to the facts of the case, members of the Lakewood Police Department were dispatched to a suite in an office complex located at 445 Union. There, they found the body of Miller, age 66, lying on the floor in a file storage room -- and the signs of sexual abuse were obvious. Her shirt and bra were pulled up over her chest, her pants were unbuttoned and had been lowered, and her underwear was missing.
In addition, Miller's wrists showed evidence of what the cops describe as "ligature marks," and she had postmortem abrasions on her stomach. An additional description adds a disturbing element: "The victim appeared to be very wet."
An autopsy later determined that she'd been strangled to death.
Investigators subsequently contacted Miller's secretary, who revealed that her boss had credit cards through Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One and US Bank, plus a debit card with Mutual of Omaha -- and many of them were used between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on the day Miller died, at retailers such as multiple King Soopers outlets, a Ross clothing store, a Walmart and a Sapp Brothers truck stop in Commerce City.
Numerous surveillance photos circulated to the media -- see several below -- showed a man resembling Watson, and another finger was soon pointed in his direction. Police received a call from a woman who said she'd been staying with Watson at a Best Inn and Suites on the 4500 block of Quebec in Denver. She subsequently provided a cell phone number for Watson that showed up on Miller's call logs.
More surveillance footage offered still more evidence. Miller's phone was found in a dumpster on the 2800 block of Downing in Denver, and a camera from a nearby video captured a black Honda like the one she'd owned pulling up to it. The driver then put a black trash bag inside, and the indictment identifies him as Watson.
Among the other items in the bag: blood-stained panties, plus zip ties of the sort that might have created the aforementioned ligature marks.
Continue for more about the charges against Warren Watson, including the indictment, photos and more.