Washington woman beaten to death with wire cutters and a set of bongo drums

A woman has been brutally murdered by a man who allegedly called the police himself to report the killing.

Randee Leeann Rios, 32, was found dead in the apartment of Tyrone Bernard Wells Jr, 41, in Shoreline, north of Seattle in Washington state.

Mr Wells was charged with first-degree murder in King County Superior Court on Wednesday. Prosecutors requested bail to be set at $5m because of the “extreme danger” they say he poses to the community, charging documents state.

Mr Wells called 911 at around 7.21am on Sunday, March 27, saying that he wanted to “report a murder,” according to court documents.

“The murder was on my account… I murdered her,” he supposedly said. He added that he used a hatchet and bolt cutters to kill the woman.

Shoreline Police Chief Ryan Abbot said Mr Wells was waiting for law enforcement with blood on his clothes when they arrived at the apartment complex, adding that he was taken into custody without incident.

Court documents reveal that police found Ms Rios facedown in Mr Wells’ apartment, with “major trauma about the head”. The legal filings say that the area was “extremely bloody” and that a hatchet and bolt cutters were discovered near her body.

Mr Wells told police that he had known Ms Rios since moving to Washington from California in 2017, adding that they had a relationship and that she would stay with him at times.

He told law enforcement that he had used methamphetamine and that he hadn’t slept since Wednesday. He said his last meth use of her had occurred on Saturday, the day before her death of her. I have invited her to stay over that night.

Court documents say Mr Wells told police that he had the “premeditation” to commit the murder when he invited her to stay with him.

Before Ms Rios’ arrival, Mr Wells told law enforcement that he had been reading the Quran and that “that verses in the Quran seemed to indicate to him that it would be necessary for him to kill Rios”.

“For the record … I’m not trying to throw that religion thing in there as a defense,” he added to officers, court documents say.

Mr Wells said he decided to use a hatchet he had received from Ms Rios’ mother as a weapon. He said that after she arrived, he “struggled with the thought of whether or not he would actually go through with murdering her”.

In the morning, Mr Wells reportedly tapped Ms Rios on the side of her head using a battery charger because he “wanted her to be fully aware of what he was about to do to her,” according to court filings.

He then allegedly struck her head several times with the hatchet. He proceeded to strike her with a set of Bongo drums and bolt cutters when he saw that she was still alive, legal filings say.

Mr Wells was reportedly asked by police if he “heard voices”, to which Mr Wells said he didn’t. He noted that Ms Rios’ mother would be traumatized by the killing of her and that Ms Rios had gone through “significant medical issues in her life of her”, such as having to learn to walk again after an accident.

Mr Wells supposedly asked what charge he was facing. He was told he would be charged with “murder in the first degree,” including “premeditation.” The suspect allegedly smiled and noted that he “said that word” earlier.

He then agreed to write a letter of apology to Ms Rios’ mother. “Before anyone else I wanted to be nothing but a good husband to Randee as foul as it sounds or seems. Please excuse me for added Grief (sic) and sadness I caused on (sic) your heart, ”his statement de ella reads.

Detectives recovered the murder weapons from the apartment, including the bolt cutters as well as the bloodied and broken set of Bongo drums.

The autopsy of Ms Rios found that her injuries matched those of Mr Wells’ description. Court documents say that an associate medical examiner said that she had “at least eleven sharp-force wounds” and had suffered “fifteen strikes to the head”.

The medical examiner said Ms Rios had severe wounds from trying to protect herself and that all of her injuries were inflicted while she was still alive.

King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesman Casey McNerthney told King 5: “Speaking generally, when you have people who confess, that is beneficial to the investigation. But we’re going to handle this case the same way we handle the other ones and treat it very carefully.”

On the page for a GoFundMe fundraiser for Ms Rios’ family, Crisy Clisham wrote that she “was a joyful and kind friend and sister to all, with a bright future. She was one of the most uplifting individuals we had the pleasure of knowing”.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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