Man charged in 2019 murder of landlord jailed on new charges of retaliating against victim’s family

Jesse Joel Bruce is shown in this 2019 booking photo. Source: Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 20, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man has been jailed on felony charges after he allegedly threatened retaliation against people connected to an ongoing murder case.

Jesse Joel Bruce, 43, now stands charged with two counts of retaliation against a witness, victim or informant, a third-degree felony, in the 2019 first-degree felony murder case for which he had been out on bail.

On Thursday, Bruce sent electronic messages to two family members of the victim, says a probable cause statement filed by an officer of the Salt Lake City Police Department.

“Jesse Joel Bruce has been charged with murder,” the new probable cause statement says. “He is out of jail on bail and is on ankle monitor. On 11/18/21, Jesse Bruce sent electronic messages to (two family members) of the homicide victim.”

The police statement says Bruce threatened the family members of the 40-year-old stabbing victim — who was his landlord and roommate in a Greater Avenues area residence, according to earlier court documents — by saying he would release evidence of alleged crimes committed by the victim prior to death.

“Jesse said he would release the evidence if they did not ‘stop your endless assault against me,'” says the probable cause statement filed by the officer. “Jesse went on to say ‘counter suits are pending already. How much mud do you want released against your precious family?'”

Bruce’s messages said he had “been patient. Very patient. You keep attacking me and my family in public.”

Bruce had been ordered not to have contact with the victim’s family, the statement said, adding that at least one family member reported being “terrified” after the messages arrived.

Bruce was arrested Friday and returned to the Salt Lake County jail, where he is being held without bail.


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