All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
(Fremont County, WY) – 32-year-old Fremont County man Francis James Acebo faces life in prison after reportedly being charged for the March 25 murder of 44-year-old Derek Redstar Pappan, according to court documents filed on March 28.
Acebo faces charges for first degree murder, and for use, carry and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, for the the reported incident that occurred “within the exterior boundaries” of the Wind River Reservation.
On March 25, the Fremont County Coroner’s Office responded to a “stab/gunshot” call, according to the March 27 Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) call log.
County 10 submitted a coroner report at the time with results still pending, and has since obtained court documents that indicate Acebo was eventually charged and also detained.
According to the affidavit filed by a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) special agent on March 28, BIA received reports of a homicide on the morning of March 25.
Over the course of the investigation the BIA agent learned from a witness that Pappan and others had been in his residence that morning, and that Pappan was in the process of looking for a phone charger just after 5:30 AM.
While Pappan was still looking, Acebo reportedly entered the home and “immediately approached Pappan from behind and shot Pappan in the back of head,” according to a witness statement in the affidavit.
Acebo then reportedly fled the scene, but was later detained in the ensuing days, during which time a March 28 warrant was issued for his arrest.
Acebo’s detention and preliminary hearings that were set for April 3 were ultimately waived, with further hearings to be scheduled in the coming days.
The maximum sentence for a first degree murder charge is life imprisonment, up to $250,000 fine, 5 years to life supervised release, and $100 special assessment fee.
The maximum sentence for a use, carry and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence charge is not less than 10 years to life consecutive imprisonment, up to $250,000 fine, 5 years to life supervised release, and $100 special assessment fee.
County 10 will provide updates on the case, which can be found here.