Second arrest made Thursday for murder and explosion of Kelso man in July

A Lewis County judge in July 2022 sentenced William Thompson, the man convicted for the March 2020 murder of trooper Justin R. Schaffer, to 45 years in prison.

Authorities have made a second arrest in the murder of Alan Brice Nielsen, a Kelso resident who was shot and had his remains blown up with explosives.

Jerome Adrian Markert, 47, of Kelso, was arrested Thursday in relation to the murder of fellow Kelso resident, 51-year-old Nielsen. A warrant for Markert’s arrest was filed in Cowlitz County on Oct. 28, the same day he was charged with first-degree premeditated murder, explosive device possession and unlawful disposal of human remains.

A report by the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office says Neilson was shot during a dispute in July at the 2100 block of Holcomb Road in Kelso and days later was blown up with 60 pounds of targeting explosives. Police say Markert and Jethro N. Welter, 52, of Kelso participated in both acts.

People are also reading…

According to the probable cause statement that led to Markert’s arrest, an informant said Markert suspected Nielsen killed his dog by “snapping the dog’s neck.”

Investigators found searches for “exploding targets near me,” and “Tannerite in Vancouver Washington” in Markert’s internet history, the report says.

Nielsen and Markert were friends, and both lived at 2106 Holcomb Rd. in Kelso in separate trailers, the informant says in the report. According to the informant, Markert said he was going to kill Nielsen and made a comment to the informant: ‘”eye for an eye’,” says the report.

After the shooting and explosion, what authorities said remained of Neilsen’s body was two legs, two arms, and a skull still attached to the neck and shoulders.

The document states that Neilsen’s torso was not recovered from the scene, and the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on what was left. However, the results of the medical examination are still pending.

Cowlitz County Superior Judge Marilyn Haan issued a bench warrant for Markert’s arrest on Oct 28.

After obtaining a search warrant, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office says deputies explored a residence in Oakville, Washington roughly 60-plus miles northwest of the crime scene.

Jethro N. Welter.

Screenshot from Cowlitz County Superior Court

Deputies received assistance from the Sheriff’s Office Reduction Team, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office and the Aberdeen Police Department in the investigation.

In Markert’s first appearance in Cowlitz County Superior Court Thursday, Judge Thad Scudder provided Markert with a court-appointed attorney.

After Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Aila Wallace notified Judge Scudder that the state filed a motion requesting Markert be held without bail, a hearing was scheduled for Tuesday to address the no-bail motion. He was in Cowlitz County Jail as of Thursday afternoon.