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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

New details emerge in case of Spokane man accused of killing his wife and calling it a suicide

Dean M. Ayers, 55, makes his first court appearance on Friday, Jan. 21, after he was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder for the death of his wife.   (Emma Epperly / The Spokesman-Review)

Court documents filed Friday shed light on what investigators say are the inconsistent statements that led to a Spokane man’s arrest on suspicion of killing his wife Tuesday.

Dean Ayers, 55, made his first court appearance Friday after he was arrested on suspicion of second-degree domestic violence murder the day prior.

According to court documents, Ayers called 911 at 11 p.m. on Tuesday to report his wife, Shannon Ayers, had shot herself in the head.

Deputies responded to the couple’s home at 28903 N. Perry Road . to find Dean Ayers in the bedroom standing next to his wife.

His wife had an obvious gunshot wound to her head and was holding a 9mm semiautomatic pistol in her right hand. Medical crews immediately began treating the wife, who was breathing shallowly.

Ayers told deputies that he and his wife had been arguing just before she shot herself with the pistol he keeps under his pillow. Ayers said he was in bed when she shot herself, then he got out of bed and went around to his wife’s side. He told deputies he did not move the gun, according to court documents.

After briefly speaking with police, Ayers rode in the ambulance with his wife to Sacred Heart Medical Center, where she died just before 4 a.m. Wednesday.

When deputies searched the home, they found a bullet had hit a stained-glass lampshade on the wife’s side of the bed, according to court documents.

An autopsy of Shannon Ayers revealed the bullet had entered her head on the left side and exited on the right. The gun was held between 8 and 12 inches from the wife’s head when it was fired, according to findings by the medical examiner in court documents.

The morning after the shooting, police said another detective interviewed Dean Ayers, and Ayers said his wife shot herself as he was returning to bed from a trip to the bathroom. He said he removed the gun from his wife’s hand but didn’t remember where he put it, a different story than the one he told police the night before, according to court documents.

Ayers said he called his parents before calling 911 because he didn’t know what to do and couldn’t find 911 on his phone, according to court documents. Deputies concluded that Shannon Ayers couldn’t have shot herself in the left side of her head with her right hand. Since her husband was the only other person present and he made inconsistent statements to investigators, deputies arrested Ayers on Thursday.

Ayers has no criminal history. The couple had been married since 2013.

Ayers remains in the Spokane County Jail on a $1 million bond.