A woman provided police information that led to her husband’s arrest for stabbing a homeless man to death.
James Henry Bratt, 36, is suspected of killing 50-year-old James Bidgood, a local transient. Bidgood's body was found on May 30 near a makeshift camp on the 100 block of Metzler Place, near Mt. Washington and St. Elmo.
The officer who wrote the affidavit described finding apparent stab wounds on the body and blood around the victim.
According to court documents, police were sent to 16 E. Cheyenne Rd. early Monday morning after receiving report of a disturbance. While speaking with Donna Eaton, she told the officers that her husband had visited the campsite on Metzler Place.
The affidavit says Eaton described sharing drinks with several of the homeless people during a recent visit to the camp. She believes one of the men was named James.
Eaton went on to tell the officer that she and Bratt had recently gotten into an argument because he wanted to leave to get some methamphetamine. He eventually did go, and when he returned Eaton described him as excited. She told the officer that Bratt went straight to the kitchen to scrub his hands and a folding knife.
That night, the affidavit says, Bratt told Eaton he had stabbed a man in self defense at the homeless camp. Eaton told police she later heard about the body being found.
According to the affidavit, Bratt later revealed to his wife that he had shared a bottle of wine with a homeless person. Eaton told police Bratt described stabbing the homeless man approximately five times in the chest and twice in the neck. At that time, the fact that the death was caused by stabbing was not public knowledge.
The officer who wrote the affidavit also noted that Bratt was found to have several injuries consistent with stabbing homicides. The injuries include a cut to the left knee and a possible puncture to the right rear thigh.
Eaton also told officers that Bratt threw the clothes he was wearing at the time of the stabbing into a dumpster. She says he hid the knife in a bucket full of concrete that was topped off with a plastic tree in their gazebo.
Bratt is charged with murder in the first degree.
This was Colorado Spring's 11th homicide of 2012.
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