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Shoshoni man in custody on $500,000 bond

May 21, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Shey Bruce has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Charles Darrell Laster.

Shey Bruce, 45, of Shoshoni, remained in custody Tuesday on a $500,000 cash bond in connection with the death of Charles Darrell Laster, 65, of Shoshoni.

According to reports, Laster's wife found Laster unresponsive at about 7:10 a.m. Wednesday at 115 Main St. in Shoshoni. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and the incident was listed as a cardiac arrest on Fremont County Sheriff's Office reports.

On Tuesday, however, officials said autopsy results indicated Laster died of injuries sustained from blunt force trauma. Undersheriff Ryan Lee said Bruce had been involved in an altercation with Laster before the man's death.

"There was sufficient probable cause to arrest him for second-degree murder," Lee said Tuesday.

Bruce also was arrested for domestic violence battery, though officials said that charge involves someone other than Laster. Lee indicated the charge stems from an incident on the evening before Laster's death.

"We were there ... for a domestic disturbance," Lee said. "I can say there were three people involved."

Deputies responded just before 11 p.m. May 14 to reports of a suspicious person at a mobile home. The location of the call was redacted on Sheriff's reports. According to the reporting party, a 49-year-old woman had been hit in the head and had a headache, though she was conscious and breathing. Officials at the time said the case was under investigation.

Preliminary hearing

Charging documents were not available Tuesday, but officials said Bruce will appear at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Riverton Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing, during which time the state will attempt to provide enough evidence to bind his case over to District Court.

"Our detective will be present, and I'm sure there will be more facts released at that point in time," Lee said.

He guessed that the charging documents and an affidavit describing the case were unavailable because Bruce's arrest "unfolded so quickly."

"They didn't have an affidavit drawn for the charges (last week) so they had to do a bond hearing," Lee said. "After the bond hearing, the judge gives the prosecution so much time to present the affidavit."

Coroner Ed McAuslan said final autopsy results for Laster will be available in four to six weeks.

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