Local News

Wake man might have staged wife's shooting death

Posted February 3, 2011 2:15 p.m. EST
Updated February 3, 2011 6:51 p.m. EST

— 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.”