Chelsea Bruck murder case: Closing arguments take place Tuesday

MONROE COUNTY, Mich. – Closing arguments are happening Tuesday before the case against a man accused of killing Chelsea Bruck will be handed over to the jury. 

Daniel Clay, 27, of Newport, is charged with second-degree murder in connection with Bruck's 2014 death in Monroe County's Frenchtown Township.

The 22-year-old Maybee woman's disappearance from a Halloween party prompted searches across several counties. Her remains were found a year later in Ash Township. She was beaten to death with a blunt object. Her jaw was broken. 

Clay took the stand for the first time on Monday. He said she died accidentally during consensual, rough sex. He said Bruck asked him to choke her. 

"I didn't mean for her to die, for it to end like this," Clay testified. "My intent was to have a good time."

READ Day 1: Trial begins; mother takes the stand

READ Day 2: Detectives discuss Halloween costume evidence, discovery of body

READ Day 3: Full transcript of Daniel Clay's interrogation 

Last week, the jury watched video of two detectives interrogating Clay on April 22, 2016 about Bruck's death.

At the beginning of the interview, Clay denies ever seeing Bruck. By the end, he admitted to choking her during sex until he realized she wasn't breathing. Read the entire transcript here.

Timeline of events

Oct. 26, 2014: Chelsea Bruck vanishes from Halloween party in Monroe County
Bruck went missing on a Saturday night during a party on Post Road in Frenchtown Township. She was last seen wearing a Poison Ivy costume consisting of black pants and a leaf-covered top.

Oct. 29, 2014: Bruck's family, friends continue search

Nov. 2, 2014: Chelsea Bruck case: Police search for guards
Police searched for the security guards who were hired for the party.

Nov. 4, 2014: More info sought from party goers about missing Chelsea Bruck

Nov. 12, 2014: Reward now $5,000 in Chelsea Bruck case

Nov. 17, 2014: Chelsea Bruck's family appeals for help

Nov. 24, 2014: Reward grows to more than $17,000 in case of missing Chelsea Bruck

March 19, 2015: Authorities search Michigan game area for missing Chelsea Bruck
Dozens of law enforcement officers searched Pointe Mouillee Game Area in southeastern Michigan amid an effort to find Bruck.

April 5, 2015: New clue in missing Chelsea Bruck case
Police said they found what they believed to be a portion of Bruck's costume in the area of Peters Road and Vreeland in Flat Rock.

April 6, 2015: Helicopter, K9 search for Chelsea Bruck in Flat Rock

April 8, 2015: Family of missing Monroe County woman awaits information from police

April 24, 2015: Construction workers find body in rural Monroe County
Construction workers found the body around 2 p.m. Friday in a wooded area near train tracks in the village of Carleton. Officers from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab and Monroe County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene.

The construction crew was doing excavation work on a piece of property where a man is planning to build a house. The crew discovered the body while checking on a piece of equipment, police said.

April 25, 2015: Remains found in Monroe County identified as Chelsea Bruck
Dental records were used to confirm the remains belonged to Bruck, and investigators Saturday said evidence at the scene indicated a homicide.

June 9, 2016: Witness comes forward after pictures released in connection to Chelsea Bruck case
After the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office released photos of a person who was at the party and may have had information, the witness made contact with authorities.

July 22, 2016: Monroe County Sheriff: 27-year-old Newport man in custody in Chelsea Bruck case
After an exhaustive investigation over nearly two years, a 27-year-old Newport man was taken into custody.

July 25, 2016: Suspect in Chelsea Bruck slaying: 'I don't want a bond'
At Daniel Clay's arraignment, he told the judge he didn't want a bond.

Nov. 2, 2016: 15 witnesses testify in Chelsea Bruck murder case
Fifteen witnesses testified during a preliminary hearing for Daniel Clay.

Sign up for ClickOnDetroit breaking news alerts and email newsletters

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.