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Second-degree murder suspect chooses to delay initial hearing

Sep 19, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

Nickelson remains in jail on $1 million cash-only bond for allegedly shooting Lucas Myhre.

A Riverton man charged with second-degree murder in a shooting death last week has chosen to postpone his Friday morning preliminary hearing that would have evaluated evidence to determine probable cause in his case.

Documents filed Wednesday in Riverton's Circuit Court showed that Dustin Dean Nickelson, 23, waived his right to have a speedy preliminary hearing within 10 days of his arrest.

As a result of the waiver, which was filed by the state public defender's office, the court is rescheduling Nickelson's hearing to happen sometime in the coming weeks. The court did not immediately schedule a new hearing on the matter.

Nickelson appeared in court Friday for an initial appearance on the second-degree murder charge filed by the Fremont County Attorney's Office. Kent Brown, of Afton, is serving as Nickelson's public defender.

Myhre

Nickelson remains in jail on a $1 million cash-only bond for allegedly shooting Lucas Myhre, 27, of Riverton, multiple times with a .45 caliber SAR handgun and killing him Sept. 13 in front of an apartment at 811 E. Adams Ave.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said preliminary autopsy results show that Myhre died of "multiple gunshot wounds."

He did not know how many gunshot wounds were discovered during the Saturday autopsy in Loveland, Colo.

"Until I get the final report, they won't have any of that detail," he said, noting that conclusions should be available in four to six weeks.

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." The murder charge carries a maximum punishment of 20 years to life in prison.

According to police, dispatchers received a call at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday concerning someone who had been shot and gunfire on East Adams Avenue.

Officers who arrived on scene found a motionless man, later identified to be Myhre, bleeding and facedown on the sidewalk, according to court documents. Responders tried for 10 minutes to resuscitate Myhre, who showed no signs of life, but medical personnel confirmed at the scene that he had died, according to court documents. Police noted the possibility of one gunshot wound to the head and two to the chest, according to a sworn statement by Riverton Detective Sgt. Julie Mathews.

As officers asked witnesses for the location of the gun used in the shooting, Nickelson informed them that he had shot the man, Mathews said. Nickelson told police the gun he used in the shooting was on a couch inside of the nearby apartment, Mathews said, and police recovered the .45 caliber gun and placed Nickelson in handcuffs.

Court documents identified the apartment as Nickelson's residence. The property's manager told The Ranger that Myhre did not live at the East Adams Avenue apartment complex.

Investigators found three bullet holes in the windshield, grill and bumper of a nearby 1999 Ford Explorer, according to the affidavit. Mathews said Myhre's body was between the entryway to the apartment and the Ford Explorer parked directly outside of the residence.

"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.

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