Man accused of killing girlfriend in Harper Woods was released on bail days earlier after beating her

Jonathan Welch accused in death of Zlayiah Frazier

Jonathan Welch is accused of killing his girlfriend days after he was released on bond after being charged for attacking her (WDIV)

HARPER WOODS, Mich. – A man accused of killing his girlfriend during a violent seven-hour standoff in Harper Woods over the weekend had just been released on bond days earlier after he allegedly strangled her with an extension cord, poured gasoline on her, and burned her with a spatula.

UPDATE WITH CHARGES: Harper Woods man stabbed mom with butcher’s knife, beat girlfriend, stepdad to death, officials say

Bond issued after alleged attack

Jonathan Welch, 23, of Harper Woods, is accused of attacking his girlfriend, Zlayiah Frazier, on June 2.

Prosecutors said Welch strangled Frazier with an extension cord, poured gasoline on her, tortured her with a red-hot spatula, and then sexually assaulted her with a pole.

Welch was charged with seven crimes, including torture, assault, and criminal sexual assault.

Instead of being locked up without bond, he was issued a $100,000 bond, or 10%, by Magistrate Dawn White, according to records. Welch was able to pay $10,000 to get out of jail, authorities said.

On Friday (July 8), Welch’s mother got a bail bond to get her son out of jail, officials said. He was released on a GPS tether.

Harper Woods standoff

Around 8:10 p.m. Sunday (July 10), Harper Woods police were called to a home in the area of Kenosha and Sanilac streets. The 911 call came from someone who was being held inside the home, officials said.

Police said they learned Welch was barricaded inside the home. His mother managed to escape across the street, where the neighbor realized she had been stabbed.

“She started to collapse so I helped her down and I had to keep her up, because at that point I see the knife is still in her back,” neighbor Ruth Tabone said.

Welch’s mother was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.

Firefighters battling flames during a July 10-11, 2022, barricaded gunman situation in Harper Woods. (WDIV)

Neighbors said Welch dropped a baby out of a window. Officers said shots were fired at them from inside the home. At one point, the house was set on fire.

After seven hours, Welch finally surrendered to police and was taken into custody, officials said.

2 killed

When they went inside the home, police found the bodies of Frazier and Welch’s stepfather, according to authorities.

Police believe Welch murdered Frazier less than three days after he was released on bail amid charges for attacking her.

Jonathan Welch at a July 13, 2022, emergency bond hearing. (WDIV)

“This is the court’s worst nightmare, the worst possible scenario that could happen,” said Judge Kenneth King, of 36th District Court. “The witness has been killed after the defendant was placed on bond, given the benefit of being placed on bond with house arrest.”

On Wednesday, prosecutors called for an emergency bond hearing for Welch on the original charges. Welch was remanded to the custody of the Wayne County Jail.

“It’s far too little, far too late,” King said.

You can watch footage of the bond hearing below.

An emergency bond hearing for Jonathan Welch, who is suspected of murdering his girlfriend days after being released on bond.

Here’s Shawn Ley’s full story:

A 23-year-old man’s girlfriend and father were found dead, his mother was stabbed, his child was rescued from the driveway, shots were fired at police, and the house was set on fire during a barricaded situation that ended with him surrendering after seven hours in Harper Woods, officials said.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.