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Craig Titus & Kelly Ryan Investigation » Blog Archive » Bodybuilder denies killing live-in assistant in Las Vegas

Bodybuilder denies killing live-in assistant in Las Vegas

The story hits the Associated Press…

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A bodybuilder accused of killing his live-in personal assistant says he made “poor decisions” the night Melissa James died, but he is not guilty of her murder.

“My wife and I are caring people. We are loving people,” Craig Titus told the Las Vegas Review-Journal Wednesday in his first interview since his arrest. “We are not the horrific monsters we’ve been portrayed as.”

Titus, 41, and his wife, 33-year-old fitness champion Kelly Ryan, were arrested in December on charges they beat James, put her in the trunk of their Jaguar sedan and set the vehicle on fire in the desert outside Las Vegas.

“Kelly and I loved Melissa,” Titus said. “She was our friend. She was family. … She was one of my best friends.”

Titus, who fired his legal team this week, said the only thing he is guilty of is bad judgment.

He did not discuss the details of the evening of James’ death, but he told police last year that the 28-year-old personal assistant overdosed on drugs at the couple’s southwest Las Vegas house and that he panicked and burned the body to try to avoid negative publicity that would have ruined the couple’s careers.

“I’m guilty of some very, very bad judgment,” Titus said Wednesday. “I’m guilty of some very poor decisions.”

Titus is a past place-winner of international Mr. Olympia competitions. Ryan is a fitness champion and Ms. Olympia runner-up.

Titus said he met James in Panama City, Fla., when she worked as a driver for him when he was competing in a bodybuilding show there in the late 1990s.

James lived with Titus and Ryan first in California and later in Las Vegas, and became addicted to methamphetamine, Titus said.

“I watched a human being disintegrate in front of my eyes,” he said, adding, “This crystal meth is destroying the United States.”

Witnesses have told police that Titus and Ryan were themselves prolific drug users, according to police reports.

When asked about his and Ryan’s reported drug use, Titus said: “I feel like we were an average couple, going out on weekends, and that’s as far as I’m going to go with it.”‘

Police allege that Titus and Ryan attacked James with a Taser, drugged her with morphine, duct-taped her face, restrained her and beat her. They then put her in the trunk of Ryan’s car, drove it into the desert and set it on fire, authorities said. The burning car — and the body in it — were discovered Dec. 14.

Titus and Ryan initially told police they didn’t know how James ended up dead in the trunk of Ryan’s car. Shortly after their statements to police, the couple went to the East Coast.

They were arrested by federal authorities in Massachusetts.

From the Las Vegas Sun.

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