Prosecution expected to rest case today |

Prosecution expected to rest case today

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

The defense is expected to begin presenting their case today in the murder trial of Christopher Deyerle after the final three witnesses for the prosecution take the stand this morning.

Deyerle, 26, is accused of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his estranged wife, Heather Deyerle, on May 4, 2006, in Dayton. The couple had met to sign divorce papers at Heather’s parents’ home, when Deyerle allegedly opened fire with a gun he’d gotten that day from a Carson City pawn shop.

Of the seven shots fired, Heather was hit once in the pelvis and once in the back of the head.

On Thursday, the jury heard testimony from the lead investigator in the case who detailed the evidence recovered at the scene. Also before the jury were the autopsy findings from Pathologist Katherine Raven. Raven determined Heather died from the gunshot wound to the head, but she could have died from the pelvis shot as well. Raven also said gunshot residue was found in the wound, which could indicate she was shot at close range.

Heather’s co-workers at the Mound House general store and the owners of the business also testified, telling the jury of Deyerle’s incessant phone calls during the two weeks prior to her killing.

The wife of a close friend of Deyerle’s took the stand to tell of phone calls Deyerle made to her after the killing, in which he admitted his part.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Deyerle faces life in prison.

Defense attorney John Schlegelmilch suggested in opening statements that Deyerle reacted after Heather told him she was seeing another man, possibly laying out a defense for manslaughter. Manslaughter carries a penalty of one to 10 years in prison.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.