Man pleads guilty in connection to 2022 Cowlitz County murder, blowing up the body


Jerome Adrian Markert pleaded guilty Monday in connection with the murder of a transient man whose remains were later blown up in a failed attempt to hide the crime.

According to court documents, Markert, 49, entered into a plea deal with prosecutors over his involvement with the shooting death of Alan Brice Nielsen, 51, and subsequent planned explosion of his body in Kelso.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, possessing explosive devices, rendering criminal assistance, and unlawful disposal of human remains.

Markert initially faced a first-degree murder charge and unlawful disposal of human remains. Markert faces a sentencing range that spans from 12 years and two months to 16 years and two months. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for June. 2. He could also be sentenced to 36-months of community custody.

In July 2022, Markert told a confidential informant he planned to kill Nielsen because he suspected Nielsen killed his dog, a police report states. The informant told authorities Markert uttered, “An eye for an eye.”

The following day, the informant said Markert was visibly frightened, and sought assistance in disposing Nielsen’s dead body. Later the informant said he saw the body in the bed of a pickup truck at 2106 Holcomb Rd.

Days later, 911 received a call from a resident who reported hearing gunshots, shouting, screams, and the sounds of vehicles colliding.

Later that month, Cowlitz County detectives responded to 2106 Holcomb Rd. after obtaining a search warrant, where they say they found a wrecked, deformed Nissan pickup truck and Nielsen’s body parts.

Authorities said they later discovered suspects used about 60 pounds of explosives to blow up the body.

Detectives were granted search warrants for Markert’s Facebook and Google accounts where they say they found incriminating searches. On July 17, 2022, police report Markert searched for “Exploding targets near me,” and “Tannerite in Vancouver Washington.”

Markert’s accomplice, Jethro Nichols Welter, 54, of Kelso was spotted on a security camera purchasing Sonic Boom exploding targets at Bob’s Sporting Goods in Longview, according to police. Welter was sentenced to 45 years in prison earlier this year.

Another suspected accomplice, Carlos Chavez Velazco, 34, of Los Angeles — who police say fled to southern California after the murder — has a hearing on May. 7.

Velazco faces first-degree murder with a firearm enhancement, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful disposal of human remains.