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UPDATED: Murder victim identified as James Lee Drake

SHERIDAN — Paul Brookhouse, 57, has been arrested on one charge of second degree murder for killing James Drake on Thursday. A $100,000 cash bond was set in Sheridan County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon.

Sheridan County Sheriff Dave Hofmeier said this morning that deputies and emergency medical services were dispatched to 24 Dee Drive at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday night for the report of a gunshot wound. When deputies arrived on scene they located a deceased male, who was later identified as James Lee Drake, 62.

In an initial hearing in Sheridan County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon, Judge Shelley Cundiff read the affidavit of probable cause to the defendant, who participated in the hearing from the Sheridan County Detention Center. According to the affidavit, when deputies arrived on scene, Brookhouse was standing at the end of the driveway with his arm in a sling and what appeared to be blood on his clothing. He reportedly spun around with his hands in the air, as if to indicated he was unarmed.

Brookhouse also indicated the man who had been shot was in the basement of the home. When deputies asked if the wound was self-inflicted or if somebody else did it, Brookhouse responded that it was somebody else.

When deputies entered the home and found Drake, he was face down on the floor with what appeared to be two gunshot wounds to the side and one to the head. A .22 revolver and a Ruger revolver were at the scene.

Brookhouse allegedly told deputies that he was the one who did it and put his hands behind his back, readying to be handcuffed.

Hofmeier added that the case remains under investigation and staff from the state crime lab were on scene Friday.

Second degree murder — defined as purposely and maliciously, but without premeditation killing someone — is punishable by 20 years to life in prison.


Kristen Czaban

Kristen Czaban joined The Sheridan Press staff in 2008 and covered beats including local government, cops and courts and the energy industry. In 2012, she was promoted and now serves as the managing editor for The Press. Czaban has a journalism degree from Northwestern University.

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