The ex-girlfriend of a man accused in a 2011 murder said he confessed the killing to her.
Kayla Becwar said Bryan Lamar Lee told her he and another man killed his drug dealer in November 2011.
“He said he did something bad,” Becwar said. “I asked him what he did and he said: ‘I killed J.P.’”
Lee, 22, is accused of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping in the death of Jordan “J.P.” Peterson.
Peterson’s decomposed body was found in the desert in Pinal County north of Marana in January 2012.
Deputy Pima County Attorney Victoria Otto argued Lee helped his friend Reed Marrone kill Peterson to avoid paying a drug debt they owed. Peterson was the pair’s marijuana supplier.
On Thursday, in the Pima County Superior Court courtroom of Judge Javier Chon-Lopez, Becwar testified Lee admitted that he and Marrone invited Peterson to Marrone’s apartment on the promise of paying him.
But when Peterson arrived, “They strangled him,” Becwar said.
In grim detail, Becwar said Lee told her Peterson didn’t die right away, requiring he and Marrone to take turns choking Peterson.
“It wasn’t like the movies; it wasn’t quick,” Becwar, 20, said Lee told her.
Marrone, 20, pleaded guilty to the slaying and is serving 25 years to life in prison.
Defense attorney Jason Rosell questioned Becwar’s motives and her memory, asking about her long history of drug abuse.
Becwar said she had a clear memory even though she was using prescription drugs and heroin around the same time.
The defense also asked if a posted $25,000 reward motivated her to finally contact police, after a stint in rehab, in January 2012.
She admitted to inquiring about the reward, which she never received, but said it was not the only reason she called police.
The trial continues today.