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Initial charge 'murder two' for suspect in Thursday night killing
Sep 16, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer
A Riverton man remains in jail on a second-degree murder charge after a judge on Friday set his bond at $1 million cash, accused of shooting and killing a man the previous night.
Dustin Dean Nickelson, 23, appeared in Riverton's Circuit Court for an initial appearance on the single charge filed by the Fremont County Attorney's Office following the Thursday night shooting.
Prosecutors accuse Nickelson of shooting Lucas Myhre, 27, of Riverton, multiple times with a .45 caliber SAR handgun and killing him in front of an apartment at 811 E. Adams Ave.
Prosecuting documents filed in Circuit Court do not disclose details about why the shooting occurred, but the second-degree murder charge alleges that Nickelson killed Myhre "purposely and maliciously."
Circuit Judge Wesley A. Roberts scheduled Nickelson's next court date at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, for a preliminary hearing to evaluate probable cause in the case.
The murder charge carries a maximum punishment of between 20 years and life in prison. Nickelson did not have an attorney with him during his court appearance on Friday.
Riverton Police Capt. C.T. Smith said dispatchers received a call at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday concerning multiple shots fired on East Adams Avenue.
In a sworn statement accompanying the charging documents, police Detective Sgt. Julie Mathews wrote that the dispatcher could hear several females screaming and that someone had been shot.
An officer arrived on scene and found a man face down and motionless on the sidewalk in front of an apartment, Mathews stated in her affidavit.
Authorities later identified the man as Myhre.
"He appeared to be bleeding from the head onto the sidewalk," Mathews stated.
As officers asked witnesses for the location of the gun used in the shooting, Nickelson said he had shot the man, Mathews alleged in her affidavit.
Nickelson told police the gun he used in the shooting was on a couch inside of the nearby apartment, Mathews stated. Police recovered the .45 caliber gun and placed Nickelson in handcuffs, securing him in a patrol car.
Court documents connected the apartment in question as Nickelson's residence. One neighbor said Myhre did not live at the East Adams apartment complex.
Two officers rendered first aid to the victim on the sidewalk for 10 minutes, Mathews stated.
Medical personnel at the scene confirmed that Myhre had died, and police noted the possibility of one gunshot wound to the head and two to the chest, Mathews stated.
Investigators found three bullet holes to a 1999 Ford Explorer in the windshield, grill and bumper located in front of the apartment, according to the affidavit.
Mathews stated that Myhre's body was between the entryway to the apartment and the Ford Explorer parked outside.
"Upon investigation, the bullets appeared to have traveled in an eastern direction, and were fired from within the apartment, or from very near the entryway to the apartment," she wrote.
Riverton police arrested Nickel-son and took him to the Fremont County Detention Center in Lander.