A Colorado man killed his wife a week after he was released from prison. He was in jail in connection with a domestic violence complaint filed by the woman.

Police found the body of Rachel Ream, a mother of four, during a welfare check at her home in Ignacio on Jan. 1. Her husband, 44-year-old Damon Matthews, was arrested the same day on charges of first-degree murder.

The couple reportedly had an argument on Dec. 31. Matthews was living in the backhouse of Ream's home despite a protection order against him. The couple was celebrating New Year's Eve when they started fighting, which soon turned violent, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by The Journal.

"Matthews said he knew if the police came, he would go to jail again because of the protection order and because he was on bond for the previous domestic violence with Rachel," the affidavit read.

He strangled Ream and then shot her in the head with a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. After this, Matthews fled the scene in Ream's car to Denver. When the car's tire blew out, he called 911 and told police that he killed his wife.

Matthews had a criminal history and was jailed for domestic violence a week earlier. He posted a $1,500 bond and returned home for the holidays.

District Attorney Christian Champagne said his office wanted the bond to be set at $10,000 considering his criminal past. But prosecutors did not ask for a higher bond due to a "breakdown in communication," the Durango Herald reported.

"This is a very unfortunate situation. That’s where we failed in this case. That's on us, and we will be better to prevent this from ever happening again," Champagne told the outlet.

Matthews was being held without bond in the Jefferson County Detention Facility.

Ream's children are aged 12, 20 and 25 and her eldest son, in his 30s, is blind.

crime scene
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