Nevada man charged with murder
A man authorities found sleeping in a blood spattered pickup truck in Elmore County has been charged with murder in Nevada.
Winston Kelly, 33, of McDermitt, Nev., has been charged with the murder of Peter Braun of Reno, Nev.
Kelly is charged with murder -- open -- with the use of a deadly weapon. The charge encompasses first and second degree murder until the prosecutor has enough evidence to decide which charge will be used said Elko County Sheriff Dale Lotspeich.
Kelly has also been charged with two secondary charges, robbery with the use of a deadly weapon and felony murder. Felony murder is a charge where a person dies in commission of another felony, said Sheriff Lotspeich.
Kelly waived extradition to Nevada. "We are waiting for Idaho authorities to drop local charges of DUI and failure to purchase a license. Once the charges in Idaho are dropped, Kelly will be turned over to Elko for murder charges," said Sheriff Lotspeich.
Braun, 58, went missing after visiting Elko for the Easter weekend. As he was headed back to Reno on Monday, April 9, he allegedly had a run-in with Kelly.
Braun's blue 1996 GMC Sierra pick-up truck was discovered parked in the middle of Highway 51 approximately two miles from Mountain Home in the early morning of Tuesday, April 10. Kelly was found in the driver's seat of Braun's pick-up truck when the first Elmore County Sheriff's deputy arrived on the scene.
Kelly initially was put into custody for driving under the influence and failure to purchase a driver's license.
But after searching further, Elmore County Sheriff's deputies found what they believed to be blood in the interior and on the exterior of the pick-up truck.
Braun's pick-up truck was sent to forensics examiners with the Idaho State Police Department in Meridian on Wednesday, April 11, where it was determined that the stains were blood.
At first, Kelly was only a "person of interest" in Braun's disappearance, since he was found with Braun's pick-up truck, said Detective Clint Andrus of the Elmore County Sheriff's Department.
But being a person of interest quickly escalated into murder charges.
According to Lotspeich, Kelly reportedly confessed that he had killed Peter Braun.
Braun's body was found by a helicopter search unit approximately 11 miles northwest of Owyhee, Nev., on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, on Wednesday, April 11, after Kelly directed authorities to the body's location.
Authorities allege that Kelly told them he bought the truck from Peter and the two men were "going along like buddies" until Braun pulled a knife. Kelly then pulled a knife, killing Braun.
The fight between the two men occurred about seven miles from Midas, Nev., on a gravel road.
It was during that fight that Braun was stabbed and the truck's window broken. There were tire tracks, blood evidence, broken glass and other signs of a struggle at the scene, Sheriff Lotspeich said.
The pathologist found that Braun died of stab wounds to the chest.
According to authorities, Kelly is contending that the murder was in self defense. Kelly allegedly said that Braun drew his knife first so Kelly drew his to keep from getting hurt. Kelly didn't say what caused the argument between him and Braun.
Lotspeich said the evidence does not match Kelly's story.
Authorities believe the fight occurred because Kelly was attempting to take control of the truck or that he placed Braun in a position where Braun felt he had to fight back.
After the fight occurred, Kelly put Braun's body in the back of the blue Sierra pick-up truck, and drove to a bar in Taylor Canyon, where he bought a drink.
Authorities say Kelly told two men at the bar that he had gotten stuck down the way and was taking a break.
He then continued north in the truck with Braun's body in the back. Kelly then drove into a remote area of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation and dumped Braun's body and most of the contents of Braun's truck.
Kelly is not a registered member of that tribe, but he has relatives there, Lotspeich said.
Later, Winston Kelly's brother in Owyhee (his name was not revealed by authorities), helped Kelly seal-up the broken window in the truck. Kelly told his brother that he had purchased the truck. Authorities don't believe Kelly's brother knew anything.
Authorities also said that Kelly told his cousin in Battle Mountain (also not identified by authorities) that he was going to "beat this guy up, take his truck, and murder him," but Kelly's cousin thought there was no truth behind Kelly's comment because Kelly's cousin allegedly said that Kelly was known to say such things when he got drunk.
From the information that authorities have obtained, Kelly was staying in Battle Mountain and working at the power plant there.
It is unclear how Kelly and Braun came in contact with one another, but the Elko County Sheriff's Department is still investigating Kelly's movements.
Authorities said one theory is that Braun and Kelly might have met at a bar, and Braun offered Kelly a ride. Another possible theory is that Kelly hijacked Braun's truck and kidnapped him.
A number of law enforcement agencies have been involved with the case, including the Idaho State Police Department, Owyhee County Sheriff's Department, Elko Police Department, the FBI and the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs).
The FBI was involved because it has jurisdiction for certain crimes on Indian reservations. Because the homicide could have happened on the reservation the FBI responded with assistance, said John Morton, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent for southern Idaho.
The FBI assisted in the search of Braun's body and with processing the crime scene where his body was found, as did the BIA.
However, because the murder appears to have happened in Elko, the FBI did not have jurisdiction any more, Morton said.
The Elko County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the murder.
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