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March 4, 2014

Fourth person facing time in shooting

While known only to a few, there is a fourth person being prosecuted in the shooting of Devan Burris. This person is a 14-year-old boy.

Wyatt Byers, 2213 Oak Grove Road, is facing 90 days in the state Department of Corrections on charges in the aftermath of Burris’ death. He is being charged with obstruction of justice, a Class D felony. He is not being charged as an adult, but the charges would be the same if he were over 18.

Byers, in an interview with the Times Herald, said he was protecting a friend and did not know the gun was used in a death, otherwise he would have turned it over to Washington police. He also said he was going to call police before they entered the house with a “no-knock” warrant. Byers’ mother, along with the boy’s legal guardian, gave permission to the Times Herald to tell his story. Documents were also provided with the family’s permission.

On the night of Dec. 6, Evans shot his .410 shotgun during a fight between him, Lucas Benjamin and Devan Burris, 17, and another person. After the shooting, Benjamin and Evans left the parking lot of the Ebenezer Baptist Church and went to Byers’ house across the street. Burris, who had a shotgun wound, left and was taken to Daviess Community Hospital where he later died. Byers’ mother, Christal, was calling 911 at the time. Byers told police and the Times Herald he heard some thumps and then the shot.

Byers’ brother opened the back door and Benjamin and Evans came in. According to accounts by Byers and police records, Evans gave him the gun and asked him to hide it. Byers said he “instinctively” hid the shotgun above a ceiling tile. After the two left, he left the house, came back and said he went back to sleep.

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