What apparently started as a family disagreement Monday escalated into a heated argument and culminated in tragedy, with one sibling dying from a gunshot wound and authorities arresting the victim's brother on a murder charge.
At approximately 11:33 a.m. on July 1, Wellington Police Chief Lee Barry responded to an accidental shooting dispatch broadcast and discovered 32-year-old Kena Stansfield Adair bleeding profusely from a wound reportedly inflicted by a .22 caliber lever action rifle.
Emergency medical personnel arrived at the private residence in Wellington shortly after the police chief and Adair was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.
"We tested the victim and determined there was no heart activity," explained Barry.
Law enforcement authorities promptly launched an official criminal investigation into the fatal shooting, interviewing the individuals purportedly present at the scene when the incident occurred.
Based on the evidence collected during the preliminary investigation, Wellington police arrested Adair's brother and booked Jeremy Ray Stansfield into jail on the first degree felony murder offense July 1 at 4:19 p.m., confirmed Barry.
On July 2, authorities transported the victim's body to the state medical examiner's office. The medical examiner's office conducted an autopsy and determined that Adair died from a single gunshot wound, indicated Barry during an interview late Tuesday afternoon.
The bullet entered slightly above Adair's right collar bone and never exited the victim's body.
Although the Carbon County Attorney's Office had filed no formal criminal charges against the 23-year-old suspect, the 7th District Court scheduled a special hearing on July 3 to discuss bail in connection with the fatal shooting incident.
Stansfield appeared at the district court session Wednesday morning in the custody of the Carbon County Sheriff's Office.
Presiding on the bench, Judge Bryce K. Bryner indicated that the court reviewed the information outlined on the no warrant arrest sheet and scheduled the proceeding to advise Stansfield of the decision to fix bail in the matter at $1 million.
Attorney Joane White represented the 23-year-old Wellington resident at the hearing on Wednesday. White claimed the matter involved issues the court should address and requested a reduction in bail.
Judge Bryner refused to act on the request and pointed out the court set the July 3 proceeding specifically to inform the Wellington resident bail had been fixed at $1 million.
The proper process to pursue a reduction includes filing a bail hearing request and allowing the state prosecutor adequate time to prepare a response, commented Judge Bryner.
After White declared the intent to file the request, Judge Bryner scheduled a July 5 bail hearing and remanded Stansfield back into the custody of the sheriff's office.