Gerald Lee Culverson of Chandler Killed Girlfriend and Chewed Her Breasts, Cops Say; UPDATE - Culverson Released, Worst Details of Victim's Injuries Retracted by Cops

In a case that sounds more like a zombie attack than a homicide report, Chandler police busted a 58-year-old trailer-park resident on Friday for allegedly killing his girlfriend and gnawing on her breasts.

After Gerald Lee Culverson called paramedics to the home he shared with his deceased girlfriend, Deborah Courtney, at 555 West Warner Road, Unit 89A, police found Courtney's body covered with horrendous wounds.

The victim had "severe bite marks" on her nipples and areolas; one of her nipples was "nearly detached."

UPDATE: As of Tuesday, Culverson has been released from jail. Cops are backing off from the murder accusation as well as some of the most shocking details in the probable-cause statement. Click here to read the follow-up article about Culverson.

Courtney, wearing a nightgown that had been ripped down the front, had a deep cut on the back of her head that pierced her brain. Her chin, throat, and ribs were bruised.

Culverson, who appears to have blood on his forehead in a police mug shot, claims Courtney received her injuries from a couple of falls in the home.

The man was noticeably drunk when police showed up after 7 p.m., records state. The couple had stayed up all night drinking booze, and Courtney, who'd suffered a slight head injury the week before, fell down in the hallway, Culverson told police.

He carried her to bed and began to have what he called "nasty sex" with her, he claims.

But Culverson related to cops an activity that sounds nothing like sex. "Nasty" doesn't begin to describe it, either.

"Culverson said that he bit and sucked on her nipples very hard and he caused them to bleed," the reporting officer wrote in a probable cause statement. "Culverson also said that he ripped Courtney's clothing, but he did not penetrate her or have any actual intercourse with her. He said the sex acts were limited to biting and sucking. Culverson said that Courtney responded with moans, which indicated to him that she was into it."

The two fell asleep after the "sex" and Culverson woke up to find his girlfriend dead on the floor, records state.

Police, it should go without saying, aren't buying his story. Evidence at the scene revealed to cops that Culverson -- who admitted he was the only other person in the mobile home with Courtney just before and after she died -- had tried to hide bloody clothing and other items in a half-assed effort to fool investigators.

While interviewing him, Culverson "experienced a medical problem of his own" and was hospitalized.

Police are seeking a charge of intentional second-degree murder.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.