Denver homeless man accused of Jeanna Leslie's stabbing death charged with murder

Posted at 1:58 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 15:58:30-05

DENVER — A homeless man has been formally charged in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found in her downtown Denver loft on Valentine’s Day.

Terry Dunford, 40, appeared in Denver District Court late Tuesday afternoon where he was charged with one count of murder in the first degree.

Dunford was arrested three days after an “overwhelming smell of decomposition” alerted neighbors and police to the body of Jeanna Leslie, 49, found inside her apartment at the Rio Grande Lofts in the early morning hours of Feb. 14.

Police believe the mother of four was stabbed to death several days before her half-naked body was discovered inside the bathroom by Denver Police. 

The victim’s family told Denver7 they became alarmed when Leslie didn’t show up to take her kids to a Nuggets game the evening of Feb. 13. Police were called to Leslie’s apartment on a welfare check when her body was discovered.

An arrest affidavit states responding officers entered Leslie’s blood-stained apartment and found four stainless steel knives, two of which were bloodied, clothing belonging to the suspect and a wallet containing Dunford’s ID.

Court documents point out surveillance video dated Feb. 7 showing the suspect and victim together at a nearby liquor store. The pants found inside Leslie’s home were the same ones seen being worn by Dunford in the liquor store video, according to the affidavit. 

Other evidence, including fingerprints, put the suspect at the scene of the crime, police say. He was arrested in the area of 19th and Blake Streets at about 11 p.m. Friday. 

Dunford is being held without bond in Denver city jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning for advisement.