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by BRUCE WESTFALL, Columbian staff writer
30 December 1997
Search warrant documents depict murder defendant Amy Joyce Weir as a petty thief and liar who talked at one time about killing a previous boyfriend. That portrait of Weir, a waitress and mother of four, emerges from warrant materials unsealed in her murder case. Weir, 33, is accused of killing and dismembering boyfriend Scott Lee Weisenborn and flushing at least some of his remains into the septic tank of his home five miles east of Battle Ground. She pleaded not guilty this morning to first-degree murder in front of Superior Court Judge James Ladley. Ladley set a trial date of Feb. 17. Defense attorney James Dunn told Ladley he’s studying the possibility of an insanity defense.
Before Weir was arrested Dec. 17, authorities obtained search warrants for her car, a Hazel Dell storage locker and the apartment in east Vancouver where she had lived for a short time. Affidavits accompanying those warrants detail police interviews in the case, including at least one lengthy session with Weir last month. They also include information about a Hazel Dell duplex where police believe Weir might have disposed of other remains. Among the assertions by Clark County sheriff’s detectives: Weir was judged “deceptive” in her answers about Weisenborn’s disappearance in a lie detector test given by police Dec. 3.
Weir had talked before of poisoning or blowing up a boyfriend. In their search of Weir’s car, apartment and a storage locker, investigators said they seized numerous items, including hair found in the wheel well of her car, toilet plungers and books on hypnosis and witchcraft. Weir has maintained that she last saw Weisenborn Saturday, Nov. 1, when he left the house early to meet a co-worker. Weisenborn, described as quiet and reliable, was a longtime employee of Freightliner Corp. in Portland. Authorities allege that Weir murdered him Oct. 31 or Nov. 1 and then carried out a bizarre plan of disposal.
Investigators were led to Weisenborn’s septic tank after encountering the strong smell of chlorine bleach – and traces of a human body – in one of the bathrooms at his home, 26010 N.E. 228th Circle. After Weir left the home in early November, she moved in with an acquaintance at a Hazel Dell duplex. The roommate said Weir spent hours in a foul-smelling bedroom, emerging only to carry plastic bags to a nearby garbage bin. Investigators later found what was described as “a pool of organic matter” in the attic above the bedroom. That material turned out to be human, a prosecutor said. Weir is the mother of three teen-age sons by one relationship and a 4-year-old daughter by another. All of the children were living with their fathers at the time of the slaying. Weir’s Hazel Dell roommate told police that Weir talked about killing her 4-year-old daughter’s father “all the time,” the search warrant affidavit said. She allegedly told her friend she would blow up the man or poison him. Weir used to read books on potions and poisons, the roommate added.
Weir also bragged about stealing jewelry from the same man and selling it. Weir was not in good health, she told others. She had a stroke about six years ago and suffered from an irregular heartbeat. She also told a friend that she was taking a prescription anti-depressant called Zoloft that, she said, “destroys my memory.”Weir and Weisenborn met last summer at a Cascade Park restaurant where she worked as a waitress, she told detectives in a November interview. Weisenborn was a regular customer who enjoyed singing karaoke. Their first date was a dinner on Father’s Day in June, she said. She moved into Weisenborn’s home in late July or early August. She said she quit her waitressing job for a month or two before returning to the restaurant as a karaoke disc jockey, something that Weisenborn resented. She and Weisenborn planned to be married on Nov. 15, she said.
Weir told detectives she didn’t want to live with him outside of marriage. But by October, Weisenborn changed his mind and Weir decided to move out, she told investigators. Weisenborn wasn’t anxious to marry again, his friends and family said, even though Weir had allegedly given him an ultimatum to get married “or else.” Weisenborn told others he caught Weir stealing $400 and remained home Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 to make sure she wouldn’t take any other items as she moved. After Weisenborn disappeared, Weir moved his belongings into the Hazel Dell storage locker. She told friends she was holding the items for Weisenborn, who planned to sell his house and move away, the affidavit said.