Fourth person arrested in killing
Appeal Staff Writer
A fourth man was arrested Thursday for allegedly burying a bat and hammer and helping to destroy other evidence in the death of Adam Wells whose body was found in Brunswick Canyon on Oct. 7.
Fred Carl Bechtold, 20, a banquet server at the Piñon Plaza, was booked into the Carson City Jail on suspicion of felony accessory, gross misdemeanor destroying or concealing evidence and conspiracy to commit a crime.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Carson City Justice Court, Bechtold helped Danny Shaw, 21, Tyler Cruz, 24, and Juan Cervantes Jr., 20, clean up 1400 Stanford Drive after the three men allegedly beat Wells, 20, on Oct. 5.
Shaw said a hidden camera set up in his bedroom allegedly captured Wells stealing drugs and the assault was to “teach him a lesson.” The person who reported the assault told investigators Shaw erased the alleged video of the theft from his camera, according to the police report.
Following the beating, in which Wells struggled with his attackers and tried to flee the home, Shaw and Cruz then dumped Wells’ blanket-wrapped body just off Brunswick Canyon Road in East Carson City, according to court documents. The cause of death has not been released.
“(Bechtold) instructed Shaw, Cruz and Cervantes to burn their clothing and get rid of their shoes after they participated in kidnapping and the subsequent killing and murder of Adam Spencer Wells,” the charges against Bechtold read. The cleaning was an effort “to remove blood stains or other evidence,” according to the complaint.
Bechtold also stands accused of taking the bat and hammer, allegedly used in the assault by Shaw and Cruz, and burying them off Goni Road in North Carson City.
The charge of conspiracy to commit a crime is based on allegations that Bechtold initially agreed to help Shaw in the assault, but was unable to and called Cruz to “back up,” Shaw, according to the complaint.
Also Thursday, a judge signed a search warrant allowing investigators to get DNA swabs, finger and palm prints and photographs of the bodies of Shaw, Cruz, Cervantes, Bechtold and two other men who were in or near the house on the night of the assault.
“It is likely that these individuals have left latent fingerprints and other trace evidence and possible DNA evidence at the scene,” according to the affidavit in support of the warrant. “In addition, the description of a fight or struggle between the victim and Shaw, Cruz and Cervantes makes it likely their bodies may bear some marks, bruises or signs of a struggle which would be of evidential value.”
Investigators said Shaw, Cervantes, Bechtold and Wells had been friends since middle school. Wells lived with Bechtold and Shaw at the Stanford Drive home until he moved in with his parents in August.
Shaw, Cruz and Cervantes are being held without bail in separate areas inside the Carson City Jail.
Bechtold’s bail is set at $15,000.
A memorial service for Wells is at 10 a.m. Saturday at FitzHenry’s Chapel of Faith.
n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.