TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Michael Breer, 18, with one count of Murder in the First Degree, for the July 10, 2013, killing of 18-year-old Justin Morris, and one count of Possession of Depictions of Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, for images on his cell phone. The victim's body has not yet been recovered, and police are continuing their search.
“We have everything we need to prove murder,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “The investigation continues, but our prosecution will move forward with or without the body.”
On July 13, a friend of Breer contacted law enforcement to report that Breer had murdered Mr. Morris, who had been staying at Breer's residence. Breer came to the friend shortly after the murder on the morning of July 10. Breer told the friend that he had killed Mr. Morris and the friend went to Breer's residence where he observed a lot of blood and a body wrapped in a blanket, the head covered by a garbage bag. Breer told the friend he "went through two frying pans" in beating the victim to death. The friend refused to help dispose of the body and left.
Breer then contacted his uncle, Kyle Scharpf, and again admitted to the murder and asked for assistance in disposing the body. Mr. Scharpf told police that he did not help dispose of the body, but did suggest burning and burying it. Breer was arrested and admitted that "something" happened at his house between him and Morris. Asked to elaborate, he stated only that Mr. Morris came at him with a knife. A search of Breer's residence revealed blood spatter and blood stains consistent with the description provided by Breer's friend. A search of Breer's vehicle revealed a garbage bag containing bloody clothing, Mr. Morris' wallet and identification, and a shovel and a gas can. Police also recovered two iron skillets with broken handles and a golf club with blood and hair stuck on its face.
Police searched Breer's cell phone and discovered at least one image of a juvenile male in a sexually explicit pose. There were also images of prepubescent males in only underwear, and adult males in various states of undress.
Breer is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30 in Courtroom 270 of the County City Building in Tacoma. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact Kelly Kelstrup at (253) 798-7792, [email protected].