Trials set in alleged machete murder

October trial dates have been set for two defendants charged with helping dispose of the remains of a Bay St. Louis murder victim nearly two years ago.

On Monday, Circuit Court Judge John Gargiulo scheduled October 13 trials for Jamie Deven Welch and Oliver Gordon Sayers. They are charged with accessory, aiding, abetting and concealing, in the killing of 54-year-old William Terry Self.

The trials will follow an August 1 trial for Christopher Joseph Smith, who is charged with murdering Self in late March of 2009. Smith was 28 and Welch, described by authorities as his girlfriend, was 17 when Self was killed, his body dismembered, and dumped into Bayou LaCroix.

Police said the murder occurred after Smith, Welsh and Self had been drinking in a wooded area off Washington Street, near U.S. 90. Smith allegedly killed Self, an acquaintance, and placed his body on a burn pile. When the body did not completely disintegrate, Smith is charged with dismembering his victim with a machete and disposing of the body parts in the bayou.

Welsh and Sayers, who was 40 at the time, are charged with helping Smith dispose of Self’s remains.

Self had been reported missing by his brother, who had searched for him and discovered a package of cigarettes bearing traces of blood in the woods off Washington Street. The cigarettes were Self’s brand.

The discovery led to a search of the wooded area by Bay St. Louis police and investigators from the state crime lab. The ensuing investigation also involved a dive team from Harrison County, whose members discovered body parts in Bayou LaCroix.

Smith was charged with murder, and investigators later filed accessory charges against Welch and Sayers. Deputy District Attorney Crosby Parker said Monday that Welch and Sayers will likely testify in Smith’s August trial.

BY JR Welsh

The Sea Coast Echo

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