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Murder weapon in Shoshoni was beer bottle, court hears

Murder weapon in Shoshoni was beer bottle, court hears

Jun 12, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

The man charged with second degree murder in the death last month of a Shoshoni man has been bound over for trial in district court.

The preliminary hearing in the case against Shey Elan Bruce started Wednesday morning.

Bruce, 45, was arrested for second degree murder in relation to the death of Charles Darrell Laster, 65, and for domestic violence battery against Lavena Sue Laster, who was Charles Laster's wife and in a romantic relationship with Bruce.

Before lunch, the hearing's only witness, Fremont County Sheriff's Office detective Eric Granlund, testified.

The defense and prosecution presented arguments Wednesday afternoon.

Wyoming 9th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Wesley A. Roberts found that the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to provide probable cause for the charges against Bruce.

On the stand Wednesday, Granlund said sheriff's deputy Kevin Rieman responded to an emergency call shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at 115 Main St., Shoshoni, the home of Charles Laster. There Charles Laster had told the deputy a man named Shey had hit him and his wife in the head with a beer bottle, Granlund said.

Granlund himself responded to a call the next morning at the same residence a little after 7 a.m. A deputy and an ambulance crew were already there, and Granlund was told Charles Laster was dead.

The detective testified about an autopsy on the deceased man, which was dated May 31. Granlund said the pathologist found the cause of death to be a subdural hematoma due to a blunt-force head injury.

A subdural hematoma is blood accumulating between the skull and brain.

A sheriff's deputy and ambulance responded to the first call the night of May 14, Granlund said. After they left, Lavena Laster went inside the home and laid down on a futon, Granlund said.

She last saw her husband standing near where she slept, Granlund said she told law enforcement. Lavena Laster awoke the next morning around 5:30 a.m to find Charles Laster face down on the floor, and she could not rouse him.

With the charges bound over, Bruce next will face an arraignment in district court.


March 27, 2015: Conviction in beer-bottle killing upheld on appeal to Wyoming high court

March 7, 2014: Bruce sentenced to 4-10 years for Laster's death

Nov. 24, 2013: Manslaughter, not murder, is verdict in Shey Bruce case

May 17, 2013: Man killed in Shoshoni; deputies arrest suspect

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