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With body on the floor, suspects in Belfair homicide came back the next day to steal items

5-29-15 Washington:

SHELTON — A man being held on suspicion of murder for shooting a Belfair man last weekend told investigators he had accused the victim of being a pedophile and, when confronted, the victim lunged at him so he shot him in the head.

Daniel A. Dunn, 35, of Belfair, also is believed to have returned to Charles Albion Austin’s residence the next day, Sunday, and taken a number of items. Christopher G. Redfern, 27, of Port Orchard, also was arrested in connection with Austin’s death, although Dunn told investigators Redfern was not involved in the shooting.

Austin, 51, was found by a neighbor Monday at his residence on the 100 block of Southridge Drive in Belfair.

Although Dunn said he told Austin he intended to call police to report him for “weird” conversations, when investigators asked why Dunn didn’t go to police to report the shooting, Dunn said he didn’t want to go to jail.

Clues left at Austin’s house led investigators to Dunn and Redfern, said Mason County Sheriff’s Detective Bill Adam.

Neither man has been charged in Austin’s death. However, they appeared Thursday in Superior Court, and Judge Toni Sheldon found probable cause to hold both. Sheldon set $1 million bail for Dunn and $500,000 for Redfern, said Prosecutor Mike Dorcy.

Dorcy said he would file charges Friday or Monday. Prosecutors have 72 hours after booking, not including weekends, to file charges. An arraignment for the two is scheduled for June 8.

Dorcy said he plans to charge Dunn with first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and theft of a firearm. As of Thursday afternoon, Dorcy said he believes he will charge Redfern with the burglary and theft charges but likely not the murder charge. Both men said Redfern was outside in a truck when the shooting occurred.

“Not that he’s out of the woods,” Dorcy said of Redfern. “But I don’t know if we have enough to charge him with (murder) yet.”

Dorcy said other potential charges were trafficking in stolen property, as one or both of the men is suspected of selling items believed to have been taken after Austin’s death.

Dunn said the three had been target shooting Saturday on Austin’s property.

“(Dunn) had told Austin he intended to call the police concerning the weird conversations he’s had with Austin,” according to a statement given by Dunn on Wednesday, the day he and Redfern were arrested. “Dunn said.

Austin lunged at him from the couch and Dunn pulled the trigger. Dunn thought Austin might have a gun.”

No gun was found in the residence, and no records of Austin being convicted of a sexual assault were found in a search of Washington court records.

With Austin’s body on the floor, the two returned the next day, according to documents, and took numerous items, included a .22-caliber rifle, power tools, a number of marijuana plants, handcuffs and restraints, and various other items.

Dunn told investigators he covered Austin’s body with a blanket “because he felt badly and didn’t want to see Austin like that,” according to documents. by Andrew Binion

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