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Tue, July 23

Ash Fork shooting death may have stemmed from dog dispute

ASH FORK – Yavapai County Sheriff's Office investigators believe that an argument over a dead dog resulted in the Wednesday shooting death of an Ash Fork man.

According to Deputy Wayne Loughrige, deputies arrested Debra Olson, 47, in connection with the death of her husband, Robert Olson, 46. He died shortly after 1 p.m. from a gunshot wound. Emergency personnel reported that he died at his home in the Juniper Wood Ranch area just west of Ash Fork.

Further investigation revealed that the couple had allegedly been arguing for several days about their dog. A rancher reportedly shot the dog while it was chasing cattle in the area. The dog suffered serious injuries but returned home.

Debra Olson wanted to take the dog to a veterinarian for care. Her husband allegedly disagreed and wanted to "put the dog out of its misery," and he did, Loughrige said.

Loughrige also said friends of the Olsons, Sarah and Christopher Wendt, visited the couple Tuesday and were concerned for Robert Olson's safety.

They reportedly returned the next day and told deputies that Sarah Olson was drinking heavily and still upset about the dog.

The Wendts also told deputies that Robert Olson went outside to barbecue steaks and that his wife brought a 12-gauge shotgun out of the house and allegedly shot him in the stomach.

She then allegedly tried to shoot Christopher Wendt for agreeing with her husband about the dog but was unable to fire a second shot.

Christopher Wendt reportedly disarmed Mrs. Olson. They used a cell phone to call 911, and deputies arrested her later that day. She faces first-degree murder and attempted murder charges. The incident is still under investigation.


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