Police: Suspect in slaying threatened man who helped bury body

UPDATED: FRIDAY, NOV. 15, 2013, 2:21 P.M.

Bail set today at $1 million

A knock at the door turned into a harrowing chore for a man from Elk, who says he helped bury the body of Ramona Childress, whose remains were thought to have been found near his home Thursday.

The man said he was home with his family when Jason D. Flett, 27, came to his door and told him to get his shoes on and grab shovels sometime in September 2012. The man told police he thought he was going to help Flett, who had stayed with his family as a child, dig his car out of the mud in the long driveway that led to their home, just north of Mount Spokane State Park in rural Spokane County.

Instead, the man told police, he found Flett’s car parked at the end of his driveway and Flett’s current girlfriend, who is now accusing Flett of assaulting her with a crowbar, looking toward the woods. He saw the body of a woman lying on the ground, which Flett struck twice in the head with a shovel, according to court documents. The two men then proceeded to dig a hole, with Flett threatening to kill the man and his girlfriend if they told anyone about the burial.

Flett told the man the woman was Childress, and that he stabbed her to keep her from going to police “about something” that could send him back to jail. Flett served a nearly seven-year sentence for a 2005 stabbing.

A confidential source told police Flett was trying to get out of his relationship with Childress as early as summer 2012, when Flett was involved in a series of home invasions, according to the informant. Childress was aware of these robberies, which targeted known drug houses, the source told police.

Investigators were led to the grave site Thursday by the man who allegedly helped bury Childress. The plot lies within a span of 10 acres sold to a neighbor following the burial, the man said.

Bail was set today at $1 million for Flett when he made his initial court appearance and was formally advised he’s being charged with second-degree murder in the slaying. He previously was being held on $25,000 bond in connection with an unrelated crowbar attack.

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