UPDATE: Charges filed related to Kingman County homicide

By: Jason Tarr, Wil Day - Email
By: Jason Tarr, Wil Day - Email

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NASHVILLE, Kan. -- Initial charges have been filed in connection to the death of a Kingman County man.

Yesterday, 46-year-old Dean Alan Cowles was formally charged with burglary and theft. A murder charge is still pending.

Cowles' next court appearance is set for March 13.

Previous story:

Formal charges are expected this week in the shooting death of a Kansas man late last week.

Sheriff Randy Hill says Dean Alan Cowles, age 46, of Kingman, was booked into jail late Saturday night in the death of 57-year-old Curtis Lee Shelton. Hill says an autopsy revealed Shelton died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Cowles' bond has been set at $750,000. He has a criminal history that includes burglary and criminal threat in Finney County. Sheriff Hill says Cowles had been a resident of Kingman for the past 6 months.

The case will be presented to the Kingman County Attorney for formal charges at some point this week.

Shelton's body was discovered Friday when deputies went to check on on Shelton's welfare at his home in Nashville. Deputies did not explain what prompted them to check on him.

The crime scene remained active throughout the day Saturday. Investigators put up crime scene tape around the home and a large KBI Crime Scene Unit vehicle sat out front.

For people in the small town of Nashville, which has a population of 65, the homicide has come as a shock.

"I just can't believe it happened like that in a town like this. I just can't believe it's a homicide," Jerry Klausmeyer said.

Klausmeyer has lived in Nashville for 42 years. His wife Barb has lived there her whole life. Her parents used to own a grocery store on Main Street, and that building is now Jerry's workshop. Right next door is where deputies found Shelton's body.

"It's a surprise to me. We just don't expect things like that around here," Klausmeyer said.

Almost essentially across the street is where Stephanie Jones lives. She and her husband moved to town about a year ago from Zanesville, Ohio.

"When it happens to somebody that close to you, you're kind of scared and shocked," Jones said. "You don't know what you are thinking."

She says she can see Shelton's house from her backyard. She like many others only saw Shelton when he went outside to get his mail or to visit with the cats he loved like children.

Jerry Klausmeyer says he'd help feed those cats when he went over to his workshop. He is still helping to feed them.

Jerry says he and his wife say they also remember Shelton used to come into the old grocery store. They say Shelton has a son. But they say Shelton was living alone and hadn't been in good health for some time.

"He kept to himself," Barb said.

But Barb and Jerry say they never could have imagined that in their small town Shelton or anyone else would be the victim of a homicide.

"It's just kind of a shock to everybody in town," Jerry said. "It's the talk of the town."

Previous Story:

A Kingman County man is dead and authorities are investigating his death as a homicide.

Kingman County Sheriff Randy Hill says it happened Friday afternoon, when deputies were sent to the town of Nashville, to check on the welfare of 57-year-old Curtis Lee Shelton. When they arrived, they found Shelton dead, inside of his home.

Shelton's death is being treated as a homicide. The KBI is assisting in the investigation.

KAKE News has a crew in Kingman County tracking this story. We will have more information as soon as it becomes available.

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