Published: Apr 13, 2012 03:57 PM
Modified: Apr 13, 2012 03:58 PM
RALEIGH - The first call that emergency dispatchers received about F. John Evans in January 2011 was that his wife shot him and turned the gun on herself, but that was not what happened.
Evans was convicted last week of murdering his wife, Donna Evans. Now the 68-year-old Apex man is in Central Prison waiting processing for a sentence of life in prison without possibility for parole.
The shooting happened at a time when the Evans’ marriage was strained.
Donna Evans, according to family members and court documents, had placed important papers, jewelry and nearly $1,600 in a safe-deposit box at a local bank and told her sister about it in case something were to happen to her.
Those details and gunshot residue tests helped Wake County sheriff’s investigators focus quickly on John Evans as a suspect in Jan. 16, 2011, shooting. Investigators contend he shot his wife twice and then turned the gun on himself, shooting himself in the abdominal area. The autopsy report found that each of the gunshot wounds to Donna Evans would have been fatal.
As he was being released from the hospital shortly after the shooting, John Evans was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Jamie Lee Brauer, who lived with John and Donna Evans, reported the shooting. She told a 911 operator that she was taking a shower when she heard gunfire. She heard John Evans screaming for help, according to emergency dispatcher reports, after turning off the shower.
Brauer said she ran out of the shower, grabbed her bathrobe and went into the couple’s bedroom, where she reported finding Donna Evans lying face down, a cellphone beneath her. John Evans was on his back.
The woman told the 911 operator that there was a gun on the floor near Donna Evans.
After the initial erroneous reports, neighbors and friends lamented that they might have left a lingering impression that Donna Evans had injured her husband. Many people remembered her as a woman willing to help anyone in need.
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