HALTOM CITY -- A Haltom City man told at least five people that he had strangled his former girlfriend last summer, but that it was an accident, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Tuesday.
The 56-year-old man also claimed to have paid four of those people to keep their mouths shut about the slaying, the affidavit states.
But Jack Dale Easley denied to investigators that he knew anything about the slaying of Rebecca Lynn Todd when he was questioned in February, the affidavit states.
Police arrested him on Feb. 21 and charged him with murder. A Tarrant County grand jury indicted Easley May 7 on a charge of murder.
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Easley was in the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth Tuesday with bail set at $100,000.
The affidavit: The five-page warrant states that two residents discovered Todd’s body on June 7 at Buffalo Ridge Park, 5720 Parkwood Trail, in Haltom City.
Just days before her death, Todd had been released from the Tarrant County Jail after she had been arrested March 14, 2007 for prostitution and sentenced to 75 days in jail, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.
For several months, investigators interviewed witnesses and “persons of interest,” but they had no leads in the killing.
In December, a witness told police that Easley began crying one day and confessed to the killing, according to the affidavit.
Search for Haltom City man: Investigators searched for Easley for several weeks but couldn’t find him. Easley called police on Feb. 13, but he failed to show up at the Haltom City police station, the affidavit states.
A tip led police to Easley on Feb. 15, but he denied any involvement during an interview, according to the affidavit. He did ask the investigators for $20 to buy heroin, the affidavit states. At that time, investigators got a DNA sample from Easley and released him.
An offer: A few days later, another witness told police that Easley confessed to the slaying and later offered her $250 to keep quiet, according to the affidavit. He also told her he had paid off four other people, the affidavit states.
Easley has told acquaintances that he didn’t mean to kill Todd last summer, according to the affidavit. Investigators have not released a motive for the strangulation.