OGDEN — Police here have arrested two men in connection with the slaying of a woman whose death was covered up by an arson fire.
Danny Allen Reyes, 30, was charged Wednesday in Ogden's 2nd District Court with first-degree murder and aggravated arson, tampering with evidence and witness tampering, both third-degree felonies. Weber County prosecutors also added a dangerous weapons enhancement to the murder charge, meaning more prison time if Reyes is convicted.
According to probable cause statements written by Ogden police and obtained by the Deseret Morning News, detectives said that Reyes killed Teresa Axbom, 35, and then set a fire in her home to cover up the crime.
"Reyes used a meat cleaver to hit a female victim in the back of the head several times causing her death," Ogden Police detective James Gent wrote. "He then ran from the scene and threw the cleaver into a wooded area."
Gent wrote that Reyes tried to wash his bloody pants with bleach and told a "third party to lie to the police and give Reyes an alibi."
In another probable cause statement, detective John Thomas said that Reyes had admitted to setting the fire at 464 W. 600 South. When firefighters arrived Sunday night, the duplex was engulfed in flames. After putting out the fire, they found Axbom's body.
"Reyes told me that he used a lighter to set a couch cushion on fire. The body of Teresa Axbom was found after the fire was extinguished," Thomas wrote.
A witness to the murder was also arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated arson, a first-degree felony. Dean Jason Imlay, 26, is accused of helping Reyes set the fire to cover up the slaying.
Reyes appeared briefly in court on Wednesday via video hookup from the Weber County Jail, where he remains without bail. Imlay is scheduled to make his first appearance in court today.
Court records show Reyes is facing drug charges. He has prior convictions of theft, riot, criminal mischief, robbery and traffic violations. Axbom was facing drug charges stemming from a bust last month.
Weber County prosecutors refused to discuss a motive for the slaying or say anything more about the case.
"We want to pick a fair jury," said deputy Weber County Attorney Brenda Beaton.