Nevada Man Charged With Killing Girlfriend, Had Previous Domestic Violence Charges

A Nevada man charged with the murder of a Reno woman last week is also wanted in the Las Vegas area for domestic violence-related charges.

Jesce Richt, 40, was arrested on Monday for the fatal shooting of Jessica Griffin, 40, on April 18.

Court documents say Richt, also known as Paul Watterson, had an address in Reno but has been living in a hotel in the Las Vegas area, KLAS reported.

On Wednesday, the station reported, a judge in Henderson signed a warrant for Richt’s arrest for domestic battery strangulation and coercion, court documents said.

Those documents say that a woman entered a bar in Las Vegas in July 2022, saying a man had beaten her. The man, identified as Richt, entered the bar. The violence was believed to have occurred in Henderson, the documents say, explaining why Henderson police were conducting the investigation.

The woman told investigators that Richt hit her, threatened her life, and threatened to kill her cat if she didn’t stop crying, a report said.

“He then repeatedly strangled me and tried to suffocate me by putting pillows over my face,” according to the report, which also said the woman was then confined to a “small spot” on a bed until she “was too weak to move.”

“I was traumatized and scared of what else he was capable of, especially knowing Jesce had a pistol,” she told investigators.

Police said Richt was previously arrested on domestic violence charges in 2013 and 2020 and was on probation for a 2022 domestic battery conviction.

Griffin filed for protection orders before her death, including one on April 10 in which she accused Richt of holding her “hostage for close to a year.”

“I have been with Jesce for the last year to protect my family and his other victim in hopes that me being with him will keep him calm enough to not hurt anyone,” Griffin wrote in the application.

“[There] has been numerous incidences of abuse where he has strangled, pushed, hit and caused serious injuries to me,” Griffin wrote. “There is a current warrant out of this arrest here in Washoe County from the last incident where he fled the scene.”

A judge denied that request because a previous order was still in effect until August, according to KRNV.

Griffin was found with multiple gunshot wounds in her home on April 18. Richt was the only suspect to her murder.

He is currently being held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail until he can be taken to Washoe County to face the murder charge.

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[Featured image: Jessica Griffin/GoFundMe and Jesce Richt/police handout]