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Billy Joe Delacey indicted in murder of male escort he met on Craigslist

Big photos below.
Big photos below.

Billy Joe Delacey is a U.S. Army veteran who had two war-zone deployments. But this service to his country didn't prevent him from being indicted in relation to a brutal crime -- the fatal Mesa County beating of a male escort he's said to have met on Craigslist.

See the indictment and get details below.

At around 6:20 a.m. on August 1, 2011, according to the indictment, Mesa County Sheriff deputies were sent to an apartment on the 500 block of 29 Road, where they found the body of Luis "Beto" Oliva," a 26 year old described as an undocumented Mexican national. He was naked and laying face up on a deflated air mattress, with a large amount of blood pooled around his head and dried to his face.

Luis Oliva.
Luis Oliva.

An autopsy later determined that Oliva died from blunt force trauma inflicted upon him from behind.

The initial report came from Morayma Alejandra, Oliva's part-time roommate. She was in Denver when the crime was committed, having last seen Oliva when he'd taken her to the local bus station a couple of days earlier. He was supposed to pick her up at the station early on August 1 but never showed up.

Shortly thereafter, investigators were led to Brandon Wathan, Oliva's romantic partner; he called the late Beto his "wife." The pair had recently become unemployed, said Wathan, so they began advertising for Oliva to perform male massages and "sexual services" on Craigslist -- and they continued to do so even after Wathan was hired to work for an oil-rig catering company.

A search of Craigslist correspondence before the service pulled the plug on the account for violating its standards revealed that Oliva had been scheduled to rendezvous with a person using the e-mail address ninetysevenecho@gmail.com on July 30, and again on July 31. The e-mailer identified himself as a resident of Fruita, Colorado, named Billly, with the arrangements for the second meeting implying that something had gone wrong at the first meet-up. Billy's message read in part, "I promise I won't be nervous again. I'll cum this time I swear."

The exchanges also included some negotiating. Billy offered $80 for sex, while Oliva demanded $100 -- the amount of cash found in a hall closet shared by Oliva and Wathan. Moreover, a photo sent by Billy was subsequently identified as Delacey by comparing it to a previous mug shot of him.

Continue to read more about the case against Billy Joe Delacey.   That brought investigators to Delacey's home, and after a bit of hemming and hawing, he admitted that the ninetysevenecho@gmail.com address was his; he explained that "ninety seven echo" was his military occupation specialty designation while serving in Afghanistan. (He also did a tour in Iraq.) At that point, he admitted getting together with Oliva, but insisted that they hadn't had sex. Instead, he said he'd received a massage to his calves and hamstrings, after which he changed his mind about going further.

A Delacey self-portrait.
A Delacey self-portrait.

The indictment notes inconsistencies in Delacey's later statements -- about a rent payment, money supposedly owed to him and a trip to a gas station. In addition, he allegedly downloaded a program on his laptop called "Evidence Eliminator" and declined to take a polygraph.

The investigation stalled after that, but a new development popped up in December: Cops were contacted by Delacey's ex-girlfriend -- the mother of his first child. She went by school to pick up the boy, only to learn that Delacey had already done so, and that he was supposedly due for another deployment.

The next day, investigators tracked down Delacey at a storage unit, where he told them the same story. But a check with the military showed Delacey hadn't been on active duty since 2008.

Cut to last month, when Colorado law enforcers tracked down Delacey in Pennsylvania, where he had moved in with his mom and stepfather before moving in with his stepbrother. The stepdad had been told a "masseur" Delacey knew had been killed after the latter had visited him due to problems he was having with his shoulder and arm -- no mention of the calf and hamstring.

Continue to see the charges and indictment against Delacey, plus a large look at his mug shot.   This accumulation of factoids apparently was enough to convince a grand jury to issue an indictment against Delacey, who was taken into custody in Pennsylvania without incident. Charges against him include counts of first-degree and second-degree murder, as well as possession of sexually exploitive material -- specifically photos of two boys apparently under the age of eighteen engaging in oral sex and others showing seemingly underage girls exposing their breasts, which turned up on his computer despite the use of the "Evidence Eliminator" program. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that Delacey is being held without bond, presumably in anticipation of his extradition back to Colorado.

Look below to see Delacey's booking photo and the indictment.

Billy Joe Delacey.
Billy Joe Delacey.
Luis Oliva Homicide Package

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "George Boedecker, Crocs co-founder, pleads not guilty in 'batsh*t crazy' Taylor Swift DUI."


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