Two die in apparent murder-suicide at Monett residence

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monett Police officers responded to a domestic disturbance call at a Monett residence on Sunday night and arrived to discover two dead bodies inside the locked house in what appears to be a murder-suicide.

According to Police Chief Tim Schweder, the officers entered the home at 805 North Euclid St. by kicking down the front door. Upon entry, they found a man and a woman who had been shot.

The man was identified as Curtis Brandon Carter, 26, and the woman was identified as Shelly Kay Garner, 31. Garner's body was found in the bedroom, and Carter's body was discovered in the living room.

Chief Schweder said both Garner and Carter had been shot, and a high powered rifle was found near Carter's body.

No one witnessed the shooting, Schweder said.

"We haven't found anyone who heard shots or saw anything," said Schweder.

The chief would not comment on the cause of death or motive until after he receives the autopsy reports.

Barry County Deputy Coroner Charles McManus responded to the scene on Sunday night and assisted the officers. The bodies were transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield where autopsies were performed on Monday.

"An investigation revealed that this was apparently a domestic violence incident," said Schweder.

The couple lived in their Monett home with Garner's 6-year-old daughter who was not home at the time of the shooting.

Police were alerted to the situation when a friend of Garner's brought her daughter back home after a weekend visit.

"The friend is the one who discovered the bodies," said Schweder.

The police chief did not know how long Carter and Garner had been living in Monett. He said he believed Carter was from the Wheaton area, and Garner's family is from the Monett-Pierce City area.

Carter was facing an unlawful use of a weapon charge in Lawrence County in connection with an incident of shots being fired from an apartment in Monett on Sept. 21, 2008.

According to court records, officers were called to scene where they found a loaded .380 caliber pistol. Garner and her daughter were in the apartment at the time the shots were fired. They were not injured in the incident. Carter was arrested on the weapons charge.

Monett officers returned to the scene late Monday morning to continue their investigation. The team was looking for a bullet, which they were unable to locate. Lt. Greg Brandsma said he believed the missing bullet was probably lodged somewhere in the insulation.

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