Local News

Wake man might have staged wife's shooting death

Posted February 3, 2011

— A Wake County man accused of fatally shooting his wife might have tried to make the crime appear as if she shot him and then killed herself, according to search warrants made public Thursday.

Authorities arrested John Evans, 67, of 4224 Brook Cross Drive in Apex, on Wednesday and charged him with first-degree murder in the Jan. 16 death of Donna Scheulen Evans, 53.

Jamie Lee Brauer, a woman living at the home, told investigators she heard two loud bangs while taking a shower and that John Evans told her that his wife had shot him, according to the warrants to search the couple’s home, three cars, a safety deposit box and a gun vault.

Brauer called 911 after finding Donna Evans on her stomach in an upstairs office, a gun laying beside her and a cell phone beneath her. John Evans had also been shot.

A medical examiner’s report found Donna Evans had been shot twice and that both shots were fatal and couldn’t have been self-inflicted.

John Evans was treated at WakeMed and was arrested upon his release Wednesday evening. He is being held without bond in the Wake County jail.

Investigators don’t offer a possible motive in the warrants, but they do indicate that the couple’s relationship was ending and that Donna Evans had gotten the safety deposit box to store important documents and personal property, including jewelry and $1,600 in cash.

She also had told her sister about the box in case “she became unable to retrieve the items from the safe deposit box herself,” the warrants continue.

Berneice Jordan, a neighbor and close friend of Donna Evans, said Thursday that the Evans were avid motorcycle riders and active members of their local church. John Evans worked as a local caterer.

“It broke my heart, because not only had she lost her life, but then she was blamed for injuring her husband and for killing herself, and I just didn’t believe it was true,” Jordan said.

“Donna would give the shirt off her back for anybody,” she added. “She would do anything to help that she ever could.”


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  • skyyekatfromafar Feb 4, 2011

    Looks like all of the concerns and 'topics' (spelling/corrections etc.) have been covered. And, I might add, more informatively than the article itself.

    Guess I can only add--on release of the original news story it was obvious (to me, anyway) that the husband was "crying wolf" with his "she shot me" line. Had that been what actually took place it would have been more believable had she shot HIM twice and then turned the gun on herself.

    His version has a strange 'ring of history' to it going back about 40 yrs.--when another case made news locally and ultimately nationally. The Jeffery McDonald case and trial. His wife and children stabbed to death. And he was "attacked and stabbed" by three people who mysteriously appeared out of the dark of night and left the weapons (conveniently) outside the door on their 'escape.' Of course he was 'helpless' to try and stay off the attackers . .

    "what tangled webs we weave when, we practice to deceive . . "

  • ConcernedNCC Feb 4, 2011

    Unless both bullets were head shots, she would have been capable of firing two fatal shots into herself unless she had to reload between them. It only takes a fraction of a second for two shots to be fired. It could also explain the difference between hearing two shots and three if the last two came in very close together.

  • uncw05 Feb 4, 2011

    Wildcat- If I was talking to you, I would have said Wildcat. I was talking to Alicat.

  • Susan08 Feb 3, 2011


    Some on this board is all chat, thanks for backing me up on the parole deal. NC do have parole."

    NC no longer puts offenders on parole. After Structered Sentencing went into effect, circa 1994-95, there was no more parole. Life now means life-no parole. However, anyone sentenced under the Fair Sentencing Act (before 1994-95) was eligible for parole. In short, the ones you see in the news now getting out on parole were sentenced prior to 1994. Anyone sentenced after that will serve most of the time given to them by the judge and then may be eligible for post release. Life sentences (handed down after 1994-95) are not eligible for post release. I hope that helps. You were both right.

  • meBNme Feb 3, 2011

    "She was shot twice, and both bullets were fatal. How; if the first shot would have killed her...then how was she able to shot herself a second time? Duh?!! This seems like an open and shut book to me.

    Playing devils advocate here....

    A "fatal" shot does not mean instantly fatal.

    It is entirely possible that one could shoot themselves with what would turn out to be enough to kill, but still have enough time to shoot again, another shot that could also prove fatal.

    Understand I am certainly not suggesting thats what happened here, just pointing out that "Fatal" shots ony result in death, not emediate incapacitation.

  • tender2 Feb 3, 2011

    woodrow, do you mean 'trigger'??

  • woodrowboyd2 Feb 3, 2011

    A gun can fire twice depending on how sensitive the triger is.
    The jolt from the 1st round could cause a second shot to be fired by mistake.
    But they would be able to tell by how close the gun was held or the angel the bullet came from.
    Ill leave it to the experts as they thread things up on their own better.

  • hellorhighwaters Feb 3, 2011

    I don't even believe that his wife even shot him. And for the husband to try and say that she killed herself. She was shot twice, and both bullets were fatal. How; if the first shot would have killed her...then how was she able to shot herself a second time? Duh?!! This seems like an open and shut book to me.

  • mfarmer1 Feb 3, 2011

    I Kind Of Thought The First Report On This Sounded Like Foul Play.

  • onemore4ya53 Feb 3, 2011

    Thank you Alicat, I too knew Donna and was devastated by the news of her untimely death. She was a good friend and co-worker. So dedicated and her sense of humor The Best! Donna was a generous person and opened her home to a friend . That was her nature to help people. I also hope John gets what's coming to him. I have no pity for him. I will miss her Laugh the most ! She is an Angel now and sitting on the right hand side of the Lord .