Dayton man to be tried on first-degree murder
Appeal Staff Writer
DAYTON – Murder defendant Christopher Deyerle allegedly told three casino workers he would shoot his estranged wife if he found out she was seeing another man, testimony revealed during a preliminary hearing on Friday in Dayton Justice Court.
Following the hearing, Justice of the Peace Bill Rogers found there was enough evidence to try the 25-year-old man on a charge of first-degree murder in the May 4 shooting death of Heather Greene-Deyerle.
Heather, 24, died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head, allegedly delivered by her husband outside her parent’s Boulder Circle home in Dayton.
According to police records, Deyerle fled the scene and was found 18 hours later walking along River Road.
During Friday’s hearing, blackjack dealers at the Piñon Plaza Casino in Carson City said Deyerle was a frequent gambler there and that he would often talk to the employees about the problems he was having with his separation and impending divorce from his wife of two years.
Gregory Hamilton testified that during one such conversation a couple of weeks before the shooting he’d asked Deyerle what he would do if he found out his wife was cheating.
“He said that he would kill her,” Hamilton recalled.
Dealer April Harris said Deyerle also told her of his marital problems and that he was looking to buy a gun at the end of April.
She said a couple of days later when she came back from her break, her supervisor told her Deyerle had said he’d gotten a gun.
Harris said the thought made her uneasy.
“I thought about calling Heather,” she said solemnly. “It was just a feeling, a gut feeling to give her a heads up.”
Harris never made that call.
Nor did pit supervisor Sheryl Barwig who was standing at the blackjack table one day when Deyerle said he was trying to buy a gun and he had to wait three days.
“I looked at him and said, ‘Please don’t tell me you’re planning on shooting your wife,'” Barwig recalled, “And he looked at me and didn’t say yes or no, and he kind of gave me a half smile. It was eerie.”
Barwig said when she found out Deyerle had purchased a gun she tried to look up a phone number for Heather but couldn’t find one.
“I really felt deep down the intentions were not good,” she said.
District Attorney Leon Aberasturi admitted into evidence receipts that allegedly showed Deyerle pawned his wedding ring to buy the 9 mm handgun at Capital City Loans in Carson City. He received the gun May 4.
Heather’s father, Michael Greene, said that on the day of the shooting Deyerle was “the calmest I’d ever seen him.”
Greene said he’d spent about 15 minutes talking in the driveway with his son-in-law before his daughter arrived home from work. Greene’s understanding was that the couple would be going to a notary together to sign divorce papers that evening.
When Heather returned home about 8:30 p.m., Greene said he went inside the house after assuring himself that Heather would be OK.
“She never felt that he would hurt her,” he said.
As he and his wife watched television, he said, he heard two “pops,” but wasn’t sure what it was. When several more gunshots rang out, Greene said, he ran outside.
“Chris was coming out from the side of the garage. I saw Heather on the ground and I chased Chris for about a house and a half. Then I stopped and came back to my daughter,” he said. “She was still breathing when I got to her and I just whispered in her ear that her mother and father love her very much.”
Matthew Grock, 31, said he and Heather had struck up a friendship at the General Store in Mound House where she worked, and just three days before she was killed, the two had started seeing each other socially.
Grock described their relationship as “strictly friends.”
On the night before the killing, Grock said, Heather had confided in him that Deyerle had shown her a receipt for a gun.
He said that on May 4 he had called Heather about 8:30 p.m. because they had planned to meet up.
He recalled that when Heather answered, she sounded strange.
“I asked her what’s wrong, and she said, ‘I’ll call you back later,'” he said.
Grock said as he was pulling into his apartment minutes away from Heather’s house, his phone rang and it was Deyerle asking why he had called Heather’s phone.
“Basically he asked me what I was doing with his wife,” Grock said. After a brief conversation, he said, the two hung up, only for Deyerle to call back a short time later.
“He said, ‘How many times have you (expletive) my wife?'” Grock recalled.
He said he assured Deyerle they were only friends.
“He said, ‘I wish I knew where you were,'” Grock recalled, “And I said, ‘I’m five minutes away I can be right there.’ And he said ‘Come on over hotshot.'”
Grock said knowing Deyerle had a gun, he loaded his shotgun into his vehicle and started to head over to Heather’s house, then thought better of it and turned around.
When he called Heather to tell her he wouldn’t be there, someone answered the phone and it sounded like a struggle. He said he could hear Heather in the background yelling, “Stop! Stop!” Then the line went dead.
He called the number back and again someone picked up, only this time he said he heard what sounded like Heather running away from the phone screaming.
“Then I heard five or six gunshots in rapid succession,” Grock said.
Deyerle, who was being held without bail, was granted a $1 million bail by Rogers after a request from Defense Attorney Ken Ward. Ward had requested a bail of $50,000, noting the district attorney was not seeking the death penalty, and Deyerle was not likely to flee the area.
District Attorney Leon Aberasturi argued against bail, saying Deyerle had fled the scene, and investigators had not been able to locate the gun he allegedly used in the shooting.
• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.