Local murder victim’s family outraged by downgraded charges


by KREM.com


Posted on June 11, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 11 at 6:39 PM

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -- The family of a woman murdered in Nine Mile Falls said they Tuesday that they are outraged by a decision to downgrade the charges filed against the suspect.

Jason Hart, 27, is accused of killing Regal Jolley. The 33-year-old woman was found dead in a garage in early June.

Hart faced a judge Monday and his charges were downgraded from First Degree Murder to Second Degree Murder.

Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker said the change was reduced based on the evidence. He said their goal in any case is to get a conviction. Tucker said his best shot at a conviction in this case is under the charge of Second Degree Murder.

Jolley’s family spoke with KREM 2 News on Tuesday. They said they are “outraged and hurt” by the change. Jolley’s aunt described it as “very upsetting.”

“This guy had this planned,” said Jeanne Dobson. “It shows in everything he did. He went to the store, bought a science book, acid, made sure he had a tub. If that's not premeditated, I don't know what is.”

Court documents listed what authorities found in the murder suspect’s home. Authorities seized DVD discs of Breaking Bad at Jason Hart’s home. The discs included Breaking Bad’s season one, episode two. The episode involves a character dissolving somebody’s body in tub full of acid.

The Spokane County Medical Examiners said they could not comment on the case specifically. However, they did say that dissolving a body in acid could work in theory.

Detectives found Jolley’s body soaking in a plastic tub full of acid in a garage along 14800 block of West Autumn Lane. She was partially submerged and nude when authorities found her according to court documents. An empty bottle of sulfuric acid was nearby.

New court documents also revealed that Hart had purchased a chemistry book two weeks prior. And the day before Jolley's body was found, he had told friends that she was going out of town for a few days.

Detectives weren't sure how long Jolley had been in the acid.

Authorities said Hart brought the DVDs prior to allegedly killing his girlfriend. Court documents also stated that Hart bought a chemistry book and drain cleaner.

“She's got family that loved and cared about her,” said Dobson. “She has two little boys. To do this to somebody is devastating. It’s devastating to our family.”

Jolley was strangled to death according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner.

Hart is being held on a $500,000 bond. The judge scheduled Hart’s arraignment for June 18th.

Prosecutors described the murder as a case of domestic violence.

Witnesses told authorities that Hart and Jolley were fighting. A witness found the body in the garage according to court documents. Hart allegedly told the witness not to go in the garage because he “wouldn’t like what he’d find.”

Hart’s family told KREM 2 News that he was addicted to methamphetamine. His estranged-wife said Hart wanted to get help earlier this week.

Dobson said Jolley’s sons are in protective custody according to her aunt. She went on to say that Jolley had just gotten out of rehab. Dobson added that Hart and Jolley had been dating for about six weeks.

Hart is being held on a $500,000 bond. The judge scheduled Hart’s arraignment for June 18th.