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Henderson man’s headless body was found by his mother, police say

Updated August 17, 2023 - 6:57 pm

A Henderson man’s headless body was found by his mother, a police report says, and the man’s on-again, off-again girlfriend — who is also married to the victim’s son — is accused in his killing.

Devyn Michaels, 45, the suspect in the killing, also alleged to police that the victim, Johnathan James Willette, 46, was abusive to her and a child — and that she struck him on the head after he tried to force her to perform a sex act on him, according to an arrest report.

It wasn’t clear from the report if Michaels’ allegations of abuse were considered credible.

Willette’s body was found on a bed in a home in the 2000 block of Pala Dura Drive at about 8:40 a.m. on Aug. 7, according to the Henderson Police Department.

His mother found the body “wrapped up in blankets and bloody.” She called 911. It wasn’t clear if she saw that the body had been decapitated.

“Johnathan’s head had been severed from his body, and was not observed to be in the room,” the arrest report stated.

Police have not said whether the head has been found.

The man’s cause of death was still pending, the Clark County coroner’s office said.

Michaels was arrested Tuesday and faces a charge of open murder, Henderson police announced in a statement Wednesday.

Police described Michaels as the victim’s girlfriend in the statement, but in the arrest report, Willette’s mother said Michaels was Willette’s ex-girlfriend and that they were trying to get back together.

Michaels is married to Willette’s son, Michaels told police. But Michaels and Willette have two daughters.

The suspect told police that she and Willette’s son got married a couple of years ago “to help each other out.”

The report stated that the son “advised that their marriage is not a typical marriage and that they got married so he could help Devyn with her medical issues.”

In a lie-detector interview with Henderson investigators at Las Vegas police headquarters, Michaels alleged that Willette “was abusive to her.” Michaels also alleged that Willette had a child “take showers in front of him.”

Michaels told police that she was rubbing Willette’s back while they were both on the bed and that she struck Willette in the head with a wooden stick, according to the arrest report.

His arms went limp, the report stated.

Michaels told police that before she struck him, Willette had “tried to get her to conduct a sexual act on him.”

“Devyn stated that she did not want to kill Johnathan and only wanted to hurt him enough that he would have to go to the hospital because she wanted him out of the way so she could figure out what she could do with her children,” the report stated.

Michaels said she then covered Willette up in a blanket and talked with his mother briefly before the mother went back upstairs. Michaels said she then left the home.

The mother told police that she saw Michaels at about 1 a.m. Surveillance footage showed Michaels’ car leaving the home at 2:04 a.m., according to police.

Asked if she could explain what happened between talking to Willette’s mother at about 1 a.m. and when she left just after 2 a.m., Michaels “could not account for that time frame,” the report stated.

After that interview with police, Michaels was arrested.

On Aug. 8, the mother told police that when she was cleaning up, she noticed that a meat cleaver was missing from the kitchen.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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