Darren Winans (l.) and Matthew Laurin


Jasper County prosecutor Dean Dankelson has filed paperwork saying that he intends to seek the death penalty against two men who are accused of allegdly killing Bob Sheldon Ellen and in October of 2008.

Bob and Ellen Sheldon

Matthew Laurin, 20, Springfield, and Darren Winans, 22, Jasper, allegedly killed the Sheldon's while they were burglarizing their home when the couple returned home from a church outing.

Last month judge Gayle Crane ruled that both men will have seperate trials, but that a jury will be imported to Jasper County to hear the case.


Dankelson cites four alleged aggravating circumstances of the crime that meet the state statutory requirements for seeking the death penalty, according to Dankelson they are:



• Commission of first-degree murder (was committed) while engaged in the commission of another homicide.

• Commission of first-degree murder (was committed) for the purpose of receiving money or other things of monetary value from the victims.

• That each murder was “outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, or depravity of mind.”

• That each murder was committed while the defendants were engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of another felony offense, namely burglary or robbery.
Both Laurin and Winans are due in court on Moday (01-25-10) where it is believed a tentative trial date for both suspects will be set.

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