By Travis Uresk
Manila, Ut.- On May 15th, 2023, at around 8:00 pm, law enforcement was dispatched to a domestic disturbance at 264 East Hwy 43 in Manila, Ut.
Dispatch informed Deputy Bailey that a domestic dispute and a revolver-type handgun had been brandished and could still be in play. Sheriff Bailey and Sgt. Isaacson was notified and asked to assist.
When Deputy Bailey arrived, he came into contact with a female identified as 43-year-old Erika Marie Walters, who was involved in the incident. Erika began to drive away, and Bailey pulled in behind her with his emergency on. He exited his patrol vehicle and began yelling at Erika to stop her vehicle.
Sgt. Isaacson arrived and took charge of speaking with Erika.
Given Erika's drug history and attempt to leave the area, a request for the Forrest Service Law Enforcement Officer Linnan was asked to respond with his narcotics detection dog.
Officer Linnan responded and deployed his K9 Myshka, and conducted a free-air sniff of Erika's vehicle. Myshka indicated twice to the odor of narcotics on the vehicle.
When asked for the keys to the vehicle, Erika stated she didn't have them. Erika emptied her pockets, and there were no keys. Deputy Bailey unlocked the car through the window that was rolled down.
In the front passenger side was a plastic ammo can with various forms of drug paraphernalia, which included a glass pipe with meth residue, a rubber container with marijuana, and a Ziploc baggie with meth. A leather holster for what appeared to be a large caliber revolver was also found in the front seat. In the back seat was a firearm which was a .44 magnum.
Erika was handcuffed, and her cell phone was given to Sgt. Isaacson stated he hung up on a phone call from Erika to Joseph, who was on the phone. Erika was asked where Joseph was, and she didn't answer.
The Deputy was not able to locate 37-year-old Joseph Thomas Wettstein, the other person involved in the altercation.
Bailey made contact with two witnesses who stated that Joseph had entered the home prior to their arrival. When the male witness entered the home, Joseph greeted him at the door, who had a large revolver in his hand, trying to conceal it behind his leg.
The male witness tried to enter the home, and that's when Joseph pointed the gun at both witnesses sending them retreating behind a nearby vehicle. According to the witnesses, Joseph retained the firearm throughout this interaction.
Joseph instructed the witnesses that they had to leave their cell phones outside if they wanted to enter the home so no one would call the police. They watched Joseph enter a vehicle driven by Erika, and when she returned, she didn't have Joseph with her.
Deputy Bailey entered the home and saw various electronics that were either smashed with a large rock or had liquids poured on them and multiple holes punched into the drywall. Screens from the windows were ripped off on the West side of the house, and the latch on the screen door was broken off.
Joseph was nowhere to be found on the property.
At around 4:00 am, dispatch called Deputy Bailey and informed him that Joseph had returned home and was asleep on the couch in the living room.
The male witness stated that Joseph habitually used meth and estimated his usage at around ½ an ounce daily. Joseph also damaged the door frame on the home's north side while forcing entry.
Joseph stated he had been in his house while the police searched for him, and he didn't try to hide from them.
Joseph and Erika was arrested and transported to the Uintah County Jail.
Erika Marie Walters
Joseph Thomas Wettstein