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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Man charged with Lapwai murder will be returned to Idaho

Moscow-Pullman Daily News staff report

RICHLAND, Wash. — A 20-year-old Lapwai man charged in connection with the shooting death of Elias “Suge” Spencer waived an extradition hearing Thursday and will be transported to Idaho, a court spokesperson said.

William O. Eyle appeared in the Eastern District of Washington in the Tri-Cities District Court, accompanied by a federal defender. No bond and no timelines were set, the spokesperson said.

Eyle is charged with one count of murder in the second degree and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence after he allegedly killed Spencer by shooting him repeatedly on or about May 12 on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.

Eyle was taken into custody Monday in Pendleton, Ore., following a multi-agency manhunt that crossed into three states and three Indian reservations. His mother, Jacinta R. Wheeler, 43, also of Lapwai, was taken into federal custody in August and has been scheduled for trial March 25, 2024.

Spencer, who was 22, was found dead on the Nez Perce Reservation on May 12 in the area of Thunder Valley Drive near Lapwai after a complaint of shots being fired.

He was shot multiple times and found deceased after an altercation outside of his home in Lapwai, according to the news release.

After an extensive investigation conducted by the Nez Perce Tribal Police and the FBI, a federal indictment was issued on Oct. 17, 2023, for the arrest of Eyle and his mother.

If convicted on the murder count, Eyle faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.