Jury Convicts Man In Barrel Bodies Case

Jerry Pelfree Could Get 65-Year Sentence On Each Count

Jurors convicted a Monroe County man late Friday of fatally shooting two men whose decomposed bodies were found sealed in drums on his property.

Jurors deliberated for three hours before finding Jerry Pelfree, 52, guilty of two counts of murder in the slayings of Everett Lynn Shaw, 35, of Gosport and Douglas Allen Brown, 23, of Bloomington.

Their dismembered, decaying bodies were found in September 2007 near Pelfree's mobile home a few miles outside Bloomington.

Pelfree could face up to 65 years in prison on each count.

Defense attorney Ron Chapman said the murders could have been committed by Troy Harden, who testified this week that he helped Pelfree dispose of the bodies after Pelfree had killed the men.

According to police accounts, Pelfree, Shaw, Brown and Harden -- the man who told investigators about the killings -- obtained a stolen all-terrain vehicle in March 2007.

Harden said he and the others spent several days at Pelfree's rural property driving the ATV around and repairing a car. Then, one day Pelfree emerged from his trailer carrying a .22-caliber rifle, called to Shaw and shot him several times in the head without warning, police said.

Harden said that when he went inside the trailer, he found Brown sitting upright on the couch, dead from a gunshot to the head.

According to court documents, Harden said he and Pelfree then moved the bodies to the barrels, but that when they would not fit inside, "Pelfree used a maul to break the bodies down so they fit."

Douglas Brown and Everett Shaw

Later, another man arrived and helped Pelfree load the barrels into the cargo hold of a box truck parked on the property. When police officers later secured a search warrant, they reported finding the barrels adjacent to the red truck, about 80 yards away from the mobile home.

Shaw, a father of seven, had last been seen leaving his home in March 2007, while Brown, who had dated Pelfree's daughter, was reported missing in the summer of 2007.

Pelfree has been in jail since the discovery of the bodies.

Every prisoner booked into jail is asked a series of questions to help assess his or her mental status. When a jailer asked Pelfree what happens when he gets mad, his response was unexpected.

"I kill people," he said, according to authorities.