Pierce County prosecutors have increased to first-degree murder the charge against a Spanaway man accused of killing a woman he met online earlier this year.
Jonathan Daniel Harris, 29, pleaded not guilty to the new charge Wednesday in Superior Court. He’s being held in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail.
Prosecutors originally charged Harris with second-degree murder in the death of Nicole White, 28, of Orting.
Investigators believe Harris killed White after the two went on a date June 6, then dumped her body in a wooded area near Lake Kapowsin, court records show.
Never miss a local story.
Her corpse was not discovered for two weeks and was badly decomposed when found.
Newly revealed forensic evidence shows White was “brutally beaten to death” and possibly stomped, prosecutors said in a news release. Harris is 6 feet 7 and about 270 pounds. White, the mother of two, was about 4 feet 11 and 110 pounds.
A motive has not been disclosed.
“Thanks to forensic examination and persistent police work, we now have evidence to support a charge of first-degree murder,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said.