Man charged with murdering his ‘best friend’ in Avenues home

(Photo courtesy Salt Lake County Jail) Jesse J. Bruce, 40, of Salt Lake City, has been charged with first-degree felony murder, accused of killing a longtime friend who was also his landlord.

Prosecutors on Thursday filed first-degree felony murder charges against a Salt Lake City man accused of killing a longtime friend who also was his landlord.

Jesse J. Bruce, 40, remains in the Salt Lake County jail. Charging documents list bail at $1 million and describe the violent scene where police found the body of Corey Haney, 40, on March 21.

Police responded to a report of a fight at a home near 800 E. Northcliffe Drive, on the North Bench in Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood.

Officers approaching the door could hear someone yelling for help from inside, the charging documents say. The officers broke the glass to unlock the deadbolt.

The man yelling was Bruce. The documents say he continued yelling for help and “He tried to kill me” and “I killed him." Bruce also said his leg was broken.

“Next to his left hand on the carpet was a knife that appeared to have blood on it,” a detective wrote in a charging document.

In an adjacent hallway, officers found Haney “lying on his back covered in blood,” the detective wrote.

Haney had lacerations on the left side of his neck, court records say. Medics arrived to the scene and confirmed he was dead.

Bruce was taken to a hospital to receive treatment on his leg. There, court records say, he told an officer, “I just killed someone. I killed my best friend for 25 years.”

An earlier record filed with the Salt Lake County jail attributed Bruce as claiming the killing was in self-defense. That record also said police found evidence at the crime scene suggesting Bruce was the aggressor. That evidence is not specified in any of the documents made public.

As of Thursday afternoon, Bruce’s first court appearance had not been scheduled, nor did documents list an attorney representing him.