Man faces charges in roommate's murder
A Shady Cove man faces charges of murder and abuse of a corpse after detectives with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrested him Tuesday in connection with his roommate’s death.
Shane Ryan Michael Wayman, 21, is lodged in the Jackson County Jail without bail. Detectives say he killed Destiny Anne Finch, 20 — one of the four people who shared a house in the first block of Brophy Way in Shady Cove — and left her remains in the woods north of Trail, a press release from the sheriff’s office said.
A member of Finch’s family reported her missing at 6:51 p.m. Monday. Deputies found evidence that an assault had occurred, the release said.
Finch and her fiance lived at the house with Wayman and another male adult, according to the sheriff’s office.
Detectives activated the multi-agency Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit Monday evening. Oregon State Police, the Medford Police Department and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office responded to assist with the investigation.
At 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, Medford police detectives encountered Wayman walking along Highway 62 at mile marker 24, the release said. After he was detained without incident and turned over to sheriff’s deputies, detectives found Wayman’s white 1999 Hyundai Sonata parked along the highway near the Prospect Ranger Station.
Just before noon Tuesday, detectives found Finch’s body in the woods near Highway 227 just north of the county line in Douglas County. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office continued as the lead agency in the investigation.
An investigator with the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office also responded to the scene.
An autopsy was planned for Wednesday afternoon to determine the cause and manner of Finch’s death, the sheriff’s office said.
Wayman made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon on felony charges of second-degree murder and second-degree abuse of a corpse.
Murder in the second degree is a new homicide charge under Oregon law that went into effect Sept. 29, after the passage of Oregon Senate Bill 1013. Under the new law, the charge of aggravated murder — the state’s only crime eligible for capital punishment — is severely restricted, and what was formerly considered aggravated murder is now first-degree murder.
The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office charged Wayman with second-degree murder, which alleges that Wayman “unlawfully and intentionally” caused Finch’s death. If convicted, he faces a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
A grand jury will meet Thursday to hear the facts of the case and determine what charges are appropriate, according to a release from Deputy District Attorney Lucy Durst, who is prosecuting the case.
Detectives were looking for video footage that could offer more information, police said. They were specifically looking for footage of these sections of roadways: Highway 62 from mile marker 18 to Highway 230; Highway 227 between Highway 62 and the Douglas County line; Highway 230 between Highway 62 and Highway 138.
Anyone with video cameras in those areas, or any other information about the case, can call the JCSO tip line at 541-770-8333.
Finch's family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for funeral expenses and other needs.
Reporter Nick Morgan contributed reporting.