Update: "Let's make one thing clear from the jump," I wrote at the top of this post at the time of its original March 18 publication; we've incorporated material from it in this item. "David Batty hasn't been charged with murder after a dead woman's body was found inside a trunk at his apartment. Not yet, anyway."
That's now changed — but it took the better part of a month for it to happen.
Batty, who was initially being held on parole violations, has been formally accused of murdering the aforementioned woman, subsequently identified as Tonya Lei Webster, the married mother of two kids.
And while the arrest affidavits in the case remain sealed at this writing, we've got additional information about Webster, whose husband says she and Batty knew each other.
As we've reported, Batty has a lengthy criminal record that includes a 2010 domestic-abuse beef involving Cheriee Schlotthauer, who allowed 7News to broadcast a photo of her taken after the incident.
In a November 2014 post on his Facebook page, Batty suggested that such actions were a thing of the past, in part because he'd given up intoxicants.
"For the first time, I am very happy with my life," he wrote, adding, "I am getting my shit together. I am talking with my family. I have got an awesome lady in my life. I have got a lot of work to do yet, but I will not give up. Being sober is an awesome thing."
His most recent post, shared in January, announced that Batty was "in a relationship" — news that brought multiple congratulations from friends.
But last month, his life took a very different and extremely troubling turn.
Batty had been living in an apartment in a converted house located on the 1400 block of 9th Avenue in Greeley.
On Wednesday, March 16, two parole officers showed up for what's described as an unannounced visit.
We don't know details about how they located the body.
But during their stay, they found it inside a trunk that was being kept in a closet.
The victim was later ID'd as Webster, whose husband, Randy, posted the following on his Facebook page on March 30, two weeks after her body was discovered:
For those who don't know as of yet my wife was murdered. Supposedly by a friend of hers.... The police have not given me any more information as of yet as to how this happened or even cause of death.
This week's announcement from 19th Judicial District DA Michael J. Rourke didn't add much detail beyond the charges against Batty: first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse.
Randy responded by Facebooking the basic facts under the headline "The Worthless Loss of Life."
Here's how the piece concludes:
This is the reason for prison terms. This sorry sack killed my wife, taking a loving mother from her two kids. She will never get to see her son graduate, see her daughter marry. All because he couldn’t control his temper. An eleven year old girl should never have to go through this and a 17 year old son should not have to deal with this. With one decision, this crap head destroyed 5 lives, not just one.
Our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Tonya Lei Webster.
Here's Batty's mug shot, followed by a 7News report about the case, broadcast last month.
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