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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane County deputies: Man arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife after claiming she shot herself

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 21, 2022

By Sydney Brown and Emma Epperly The Spokesman-Review

A man who claimed his wife shot herself in the head has been arrested on suspicion of her murder, Spokane County deputies said.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday night responded after Dean M. Ayers, 55, said his wife was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in their home at the 28900 block of North Perry Street, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

When deputies arrived, they found Shannon Ayers in her bed with a gunshot wound to her head and a pistol in her right hand, according to a search warrant filed Wednesday.

Janet Ayers, who was still breathing and had a pulse, was transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. She later died of her injuries.

Dean Ayers told deputies he and his wife had been drinking and arguing before going to bed at about 9:30 p.m. He said he woke up at about 11 p.m. to go to the bathroom and, as he returned to the bedroom, he heard a “boom,” according to the search warrant.

He turned on the light to find his wife had shot herself with the pistol he normally keeps loaded under his pillow in their bed, Dean Ayers told deputies.

Dean Ayers also told deputies his wife had sent a text message to family members a few weeks prior with a statement similar to “I’m done,” according to court documents.

During the interview, the detective saw blood on Dean Ayers’ cuticles, according to court documents. Dean Ayers said he attempted CPR prior to first responders’ arrival.

Investigators also found several inconsistencies in Ayers’ story, according to the news release.

An autopsy was done and, when compared to Ayers’ original statements, deputies said they developed probable cause to arrest Ayers on suspicion of second-degree murder.

Ayers was booked into the Spokane County Jail on Thursday afternoon.

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