Drugs, delusions and attempted parricide: Craig woman lucky to survive nephew’s attack
CRAIG — A Craig woman is lucky to be alive following an alleged attack by her nephew and a fire at her home.
Just after 4 p.m., Thursday, June 21, Craig Police Department officers were notified of a call by Craig woman, Susan Reeves, 69, who reported her 36-year-old nephew — Jonathan Alexzander Waugh — had tried to kill her.
Reeves said Waugh came up behind her, accused her of killing his uncle, hit her with a closed fist, then covered her head with a blanket and used a cord in an attempt to strangle her, according to Reeves’ interview with police, part of a warrantless arrest affidavit released by the Moffat Combined Court Friday afternoon.
Reeves added that she blacked out and upon regaining consciousness, she found her home filled with smoke and crawled outside to call for help, discovering in the process that she was bleeding.
She also told officers her nephew’s truck was missing from the residence.
Craig Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Craig Fire/Rescue were subsequently dispatched to Reeves’ mobile home in Cedar Mountain Trailer Park, in the 900 block of West First Street.
“The fire department quickly extinguished the fire inside the residence. The victim was located outside of the residence. She had injuries to her upper body,” said Craig Chief of Police Jerry DeLong.
Reeves was transported Memorial Regional Health Emergency Medical Service to The Memorial Hospital in Craig for treatment. According to the affidavit, Reeves sustained injuries to her throat, a nasal fracture, facial and scalp contusions, damage to her left eye that left it “black and almost swollen shut,” and a laceration across the bridge of her nose.
While Reeves was being transported to the hospital and receiving assistance for her injuries, law enforcement agencies went to work locating Waugh.
A BOLO notice was issued on Waugh’s vehicle — a Black Ford Ranger — but no details were released to the public as officers from multiple agencies searched for him.
The police department, sheriff’s office, Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Parks and Wildlife were all involved in the search.
Waugh was located about 9 p.m. inside his truck, which he had parked inside a garage at a home in Shadow Mountain Village Mobile Home Park.
The affidavit states the homeowner arrived with his brother-in-law to find his garage and front doors locked, something the homeowner hadn’t done himself. With the help of his brother-in-law, the homeowner forced entry into the garage via the “man door” finding a strange truck with Waugh inside.
Waugh was confronted and tried to drive his truck out of the garage through the closed garage door, almost injuring the homeowner, who attempted to stop Waugh while his brother-in-law called 911.
“When the truck pulled away from the garage door, the garage door fell down. … The truck pulled forward again, and the male driver got out. The male driver got into a physical altercation with the homeowner,” according to a statement given by Deputy Nate Baker, the officer dispatched to the scene.
Baker reported that Waugh fled the home on foot and was tracked, by other officers also responding. He was eventually apprehended on the Colorado Northwestern Community College campus, on the west side of Moffat County Road 7, across from Shadow Mountain.
According to an arrest affidavit, Waugh was charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree arson, two counts of second-degree assault, felony criminal mischief, second-degree burglary and attempted first-degree assault.
All the charges are felonies.
Waugh had been staying with his aunt after being paroled to her home in April, according to her statement in the affidavit.
“Jonathan went to prison and was on parole for setting a place on fire,” Reeves said.
The morning of the incident, Reeves said she spoke to her nephew about using the computer, which was located in his bedroom, after he’d awakened from a nap. While she was seated at the computer, she said, he approached from behind and struck her with “a closed fist.”
“Jonathan then told her something to the effect that she had killed Dennis and now she had to die. (Susan explained that Dennis was her brother and Waugh’s uncle and had died of a heart attack a few years before.) Susan then said that she fought Jonathan yelling at him to stop … but it was difficult for her, because he was 6 foot tall and weighed over 200 pounds. (Susan (Reeves) is 69 years old and uses oxygen in the house),” according to the affidavit.
When interviewed at the Public Safety Center following his arrest, Waugh reportedly told officers, “he didn’t remember a lot, all he remembered was waking up in a garage and he was ‘high as (expletive)’ on his lithium medication.”
Later in the interview, he acknowledged he had argued with his aunt because he believed she had killed his uncle, but he added he had only pushed her, according to the affidavit.
When asked about the fire, Waugh is reported to have told officers, “that the hair dryer probably started the fire, because it was full of lint and it was left plugged in.”
In the initial investigation, there was some confusion between Waugh and a Craig resident with a similar name.
The District Attorney’s Office and an investigator from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control assisted law enforcement with the incident.
According to posts by friends and family on Facebook, Reeves is expected to recover from her injuries.
A $100,00 bond was set June 22 by District Judge Shelley A. Hill. At that time, the accused — Jonathan Alexzander Waugh, a 36-year-old Craig man — was advised of the charges against him.
A hearing on advisement was held for Waugh about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 26 at the Moffat County Combined Courts, where he appeared via video from the Moffat County Jail.
Chief Judge Michael O’Hara was presiding on behalf of County Court Judge Sandra Gardner.
Public Defender Kate Bush said Waugh will remain in custody. She requested about three weeks for discovery and advisement, with the next court appearance set for 11 a.m. July 17. She said Waugh had agreed to waive advisement of formally filed charges. She is also not requesting a preliminary hearing, but reserved Waugh’s right to request one in future.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
A two-vehicle, head-on crash near Green Mountain Reservoir on Sunday closed Colorado Highway 9 for multiple hours and sent at least eight people to hospitals, including one via a Flight For Life helicopter.