MONROE (WWJ/AP) – The man accused in the death of Chelsea Bruck has rejected a plea deal on a second degree murder charge that included a 35-year prison sentence.
Daniel Clay, 28, faces open murder and related charges after authorities say he confessed to killing Bruck after the two met at a Halloween party in 2014. His defense attorney says it was an accident.
The deal was offered Monday by the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office shortly after a jury of 13 women and one man was seated.
The trial, scheduled to begin with opening statements Tuesday morning, is expected to last two weeks.
Bruck was last seen alive at a massive Halloween party at a rural property on Post Road in Frenchtown Township, early in the morning of Oct. 26, 2014. The 22-year-old’s Poison Ivy character Halloween Costume was found about six months later at an industrial site. Her remains were discovered a few weeks later — on April 24, 2015 — in a wooded lot on Briar Hill Road in Ash Township, about 12 miles away from her last known whereabouts.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner found that Bruck died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Clay was arrested in May in the theft of tattoo equipment; and, in July, his girlfriend allegedly told police he’d called her from jail and confessed to killing Bruck, claiming she’d asked him to choke her during rough but consensual sex.
Under questioning by investigators, Clay allegedly admitted to having a hand in Bruck’s death, and police said Clay’s DNA matched DNA found on Bruck’s costume.
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