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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Shawnee man faces murder charge in shooting death of wife

  • A Shawnee man was formally charged with first-degree murder Friday in the March shooting death of his wife.
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  • A Shawnee man was formally charged with first-degree murder Friday in the March shooting death of his wife.
    Prosecutors filed the charge against Justin Dewayne Byus, 25, in Pottawatomie County District Court.
    Charges allege the defendant unlawfully and with malice aforethought caused the death of Cathy Byus by shooting her with a .40-caliber pistol on March 21.
    While awaiting his next court date, Justin Byus remains jailed without bond in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center.
    Cathy Byus, 35, was found dead in her Granada Estates home at 27 Bella Vista after the defendant's friend called police.
    The official cause of her death was ruled by the medical examiner as multiple gunshot wounds, with manner of death confirmed as homicide.
    The arrest warrant in the case shows a friend of the suspect called police after the suspect called to confide in him that he had allegedly shot and killed Cathy Byus sometime during the overnight hours March 21.
    The warrant shows the friend, who reported the couple fought nearly every night, had gone with Justin Byus to a strip club in Oklahoma City, where the suspect drank a "bucket of beer," the warrant reads.
    The two friends returned to the Shawnee area about 2:15 a.m., where Justin Byus drove the friend to his house in Tecumseh, running off the road once.
    A short time after Justin Byus returned home about 3 a.m. according to the warrant, he called the same friend and said "he had gotten Cathy's cell phone and discovered that she was texting another guy and was making fun of him to the other guy."
    Further, the warrant shows, Justin Byus told the friend he found a sexually explicit picture of that man's body on his wife's cell phone.
    He also told the friend "that he was very mad and he was going to kill her," the warrant reads.
    The friend told Justin Byus "not to do anything stupid," for which Justin Byus replied to him, "Nah, I'm OK, I won't do anything," adding he was going to "cool off" even though he was upset, the warrant shows.
    But a short time later, Justin Byus called the friend again.
    "He said Justin told him he had had killed her," the detective's affidavit shows, but the friend told officers he didn't believe Justin Byus, at first, and then reported Justin Byus told him he had shot his wife in the face and neck.
    The last call occurred about 3:50 a.m. and the friend immediately called 911 to report the shooting in Shawnee.
    When Shawnee police arrived at the couple's home, Byus was out in the yard, where he was immediately detained. He was later arrested on the murder complaint.
    Page 2 of 2 - As Shawnee police searched the home, they found the body of Cathy Byus in bed in the master bedroom. The warrant indicates that a blanket covered the victim and her cell phone was in her left hand.
    Police also found the couple's son, James, a toddler, unharmed in another bedroom.
    Cathy Byus grew up in Bethel Acres and graduated Bethel High School in 1995. Graveside funeral services were held for her earlier this week in Southwest City, Mo., where her parents also are interred.
    Her parents, Gary and Linda Haas of Tecumseh, were murdered while vacationing in New Mexico after three inmates escaped from an Arizona prison. Their deaths occurred in August 2010, just months after Cathy and Justin Byus married in May 2010.
    If convicted of first-degree murder, Justin Byus could face the death penalty, imprisonment for life, or life without parole.
    An attorney of record isn't yet listed for Justin Byus on the felony murder case, but he reportedly is being represented by an Oklahoma City attorney in a separate misdemeanor case involving driving with a suspended license, court records show.
    The defendant's next court date hasn't yet been scheduled.
    Watch for updates.
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