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

Jonathan Welch facing several charges, including murder

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. – Officials said a Harper Woods man, who days earlier had been released on bail and ordered to live at his mother’s house, stabbed his mom several times with a butcher’s knife and murdered his girlfriend and stepfather with blunt force.

Jonathan Lamont-John Welch, 23, of Harper Woods, was at the center of a violent seven-hour barricaded situation that began at 8:14 p.m. Sunday (July 10) and stretched into the early hours of Monday morning, according to authorities.

During that time, his 42-year-old mother ran into a neighbor’s home with stab wounds after escaping from her son, police said. Authorities accuse Welch of stabbing her multiple times in the back with a butcher’s knife.

Officers later found Welch’s 1-year-old son in the backyard of the home during the standoff. Medical officials transported the child to a nearby hospital for treatment, they said.

Welch fired multiple gunshots at officers throughout the course of the standoff and also started a fire inside the home before appearing in the front doorway, according to authorities.

Police took him into custody and brought him to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Firefighters from Grosse Pointe Woods extinguished the flames, and police found the bodies of Zlayiah Frazier, 22, of Roseville, and Robert Bray Jr., 70, of Harper Woods, inside the home, they said.

Frazier was Welch’s girlfriend and the mother of his son, authorities said. Bray was Welch’s stepfather, according to officials. Frazier and Bray had both been killed by blunt force trauma, police said.

Welch has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, four counts of assault with intent to murder, one count of second-degree arson, seven counts of felonious assault, and six felony firearm violations.

Bond issued after alleged attack

At the time of the standoff, Welch was out on bond after being charged for attacking Frazier on June 2, court records show.

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

“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.

About the Author:

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.