(FAYETTEVILLE) – Additional information has been released in a probable cause affidavit in the murder of Charlene Silvers.
58-year-old Phillip “Butch” Deckard, of 2738 Maul Ridge Rd., is now facing charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, domestic battery, and aggravated battery.
On Wednesday, at approximately 1:56 p.m., Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Central Dispatch received a call from an individual who said they had been involved in a minor traffic accident on State Road 158 and the other involved vehicle fled the scene. According to the caller, the other driver stated he was trying to get his female passenger, who suffered a gunshot wound, to the hospital.
The vehicle that fled the scene was a silver or gray Ford Focus. The caller gave police the license plate number.
At approximately 2:03 p.m. IU Health Bedford Hospital called dispatch to advise a female was in the emergency department with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
A Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputy was met by the IU Health Emergency Management Supervisor who escorted him to the waiting room to speak to Deckard. Deckard was sitting in a wheelchair covered in Silvers’ blood. He also had dried blood on his hands.
Officials say Deckard and Silvers have been in a relationship for 13 years and both live in a home on Maul Ridge Road.
Deckard told the deputy, “My girlfriend got shot.”
The officer asked how Deckard got all the blood on him he said he was helping Silvers get in his vehicle.
The officer again asked Deckard, “So she got shot is that what you said?” just to confirm what he had said prior. Deckard said, “Yeah, it was an accident.”
The officer then asked what happened.
Deckard told the officer that he and Silvers had been arguing all morning. He said he had a pistol and Silvers took it and was shooting at him by the porch outside of the residence. Deckard said Silvers then set the trailer on fire. He said Silvers came back into the house and he had a .223 rifle in his hand.
Deckard said Silvers shoved him and when she shoved him the gun went off. He added he wasn’t pointing the gun at Silvers.
The officer asked Deckard how long ago this happened and he stated something to the effect that he came right to the hospital.
Medical staff advised they were life lining Silvers to another hospital. The officer asked to speak to Silvers if she was conscious.
Silvers told the officer Deckard shot her. The officer asked why and she told him they had been arguing. The officer then asked if it was an accident and Silvers shook her head no. The officer then asked if she thought he did it on purpose and she said yes.
He then asked her what Deckard shot her with and she said an assault rifle. The officer then asked again if it was an accident and Silvers shook her head no. He asked her again if it was on purpose and she shook her head yes.
Deckard told police he and Silvers had been arguing all day and “their place is tore all to hell.”
Deckard said the had been arguing all day and both of them were breaking items, including dishes and the television. He says Silvers also poured gasoline from the living room to the bedroom and set the bedroom on fire.
Silvers then allegedly retrieved a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun.
According to Deckard, Silvers went outside. He followed her and she fired two rounds at him but apparently wasn’t trying to hit him. She then threw the gun in a mud puddle.
Deckard said the AR 15 rifle was in the residence inside the door on the left side.
Deckard said he went back inside the residence and picked up the rifle and Silvers knocked him backward.
Police say Deckard is 5’08” tall and weighs 200 pounds. Silvers is 5’08” tall and weighs 128 pounds.
Deckard said he didn’t know how Silvers got shot.
He said he has never hit her, but she always hits on him, but she can’t hurt him.
Deckard then stated he would never shoot her, that it was an accident, and he had never pointed the rifle at Silvers.
When asked why he picked up the rifle he said he didn’t know it was there and he just picked it up.
Deckard said they were in close proximity to each other (within arm’s length) when Silvers pushed him and the gun discharged.
When police went to the house they found it in disarray. Inside, furniture was turned over, various items of glass were broken, the television was laying on the front porch, tubs of clothing were strewn about outside, numerous windows were broken out, various other items were thrown out of a window, and a fire had been started inside the residence.
A large amount of what appeared to be blood was located on the front porch and just inside the front door, which is also the living room area.
Police located one .223 caliber spent shell casing on the front porch and two .223 caliber spent shell casings located just inside the front door on the floor. Two more .223 caliber spent shell casings were located on the living room floor.
The rifle and the handgun were lying next to one another on the living room floor.
Numerous exit holes, of what appear to be bullet holes, were located in various locations around the residence.
A neighbor told police they heard four or five gunshots coming from the east behind their residence. This is in the direction of the home Deckard and Silvers shared.
The neighbor said there were two initial shots, a short pause, and then two more consecutive shots. About five to ten minutes after hearing the shots, they heard a car pulling out of a driveway.
Silvers was pronounced dead on Thursday at 7:24 p.m.
Pathologist Dr. John Cavanaugh performed an autopsy on Silvers. He said Silvers was possibly shot by two bullets, but probably one.
One bullet wound was to Silver’s left arm breaking both the radius and ulna bones in her forearm. A second bullet wound entered her left side between the seventh and tenth rib. A fragment projectile exited the right 7th rib. A bullet fragment was located under a surgical incision from the removal of her stomach.
Deckard was arrested at 9:50 p.m. He is currently being held without bond.