New Details Released in Lovell Murder; Suspect to Appear in Court
Authorities have released new details in the Thursday killing of a Wyoming woman, and the suspect is set to make his initial court appearance on Monday.
Donald Joe Crouse, 48, was arrested Thursday in Mills after allegedly murdering 49-year-old Carol Jean Barnes in Lovell.
Lovell Chief of Police Dan Laffin said in a statement Sunday that Crouse was set to be taken from Natrona County to the Big Horn County Jail.
On Monday, Crouse will make his initial appearance in Big Horn County Circuit Court on a charge of first-degree murder.
Laffin says Barnes was killed in Crouse's Lovell apartment on Thursday, though they did not live together. An autopsy of Barnes has been performed, and the results have been provided to authorities.
Laffin credits Officer Grant Pederson of the Mills Police Department for his alertness, which contributed to the quickness with which Crouse was arrested Thursday in Mills.
"The effectiveness of inter-agency communication and cooperation should not go unnoticed," Laffin said. "The most important thing for all of us now is to ensure that a fair trial is held and justice for the victim is secured."
Police plan to limit the release of further details in the case, "in an effort to sure all aspects of the process remain uncompromised and an accurate criminal trial is conducted," Laffin added.
"Please keep the family of the victim in your thoughts and prayers," Laffin concluded.