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Man denies shooting his Decatur wife's lover dead in front of her

Man denies shooting his Decatur wife's lover dead in front of her


DECATUR — Bryant K. Bunch told a judge Wednesday he was pleading not guilty to charges he shot dead his estranged wife’s lover in front of her.

Bunch, 44, is facing three alternate counts of murder in the April 5 killing of 36-year-old Devin Slater in the yard of a home in Montgomery Place in Decatur.

Macon County Circuit Judge Phoebe Bowers found probable cause to hold Bunch over for trial. He remains free after posting $10,000 bond on bail set at $100,000. Bunch had been sought on a warrant but turned himself in to Decatur police the day after the homicide.

Giving evidence earlier in the hearing, Detective Jason Danner described how Bunch had driven up to Slater in the afternoon as he stood in a front yard with Bunch’s wife, whom he was dating.

Under questioning from Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott, Danner said the wife described Bunch getting out of his own truck and approaching in what she called an “aggressive” manner.

“And did she state the defendant said something like ‘What up, playboy?’ to Mr. Slater and then pulled out a handgun and began shooting?” asked Scott.

“Yes,” replied Danner.

“And did she state that the victim began running and the defendant ran up to him and shot him again?” asked Scott. “Yes,” said the detective.

Danner then said Bunch jumped into his own truck and fled but the shooting had been seen by multiple other witnesses, including Bunch’s own grown-up children. A neighbor of Slater had also snapped pictures of Bunch’s truck as it was leaving the scene of the shooting, Danner added.

Defense attorney Gal Pissetzky first complained to the judge that he had not received a copy of the sworn affidavit outlining the police evidence. Pissetzky said he had filed a subpoena for the affidavit but Bowers told him that issue would have to be taken up at another hearing.

Pissetzky then questioned the detective and asked several questions about the eye-witness evidence and the photographs taken of Bunch’s truck. “And did those pictures show Mr. Bunch shooting anybody?” the attorney asked.

“No,” replied Danner.

Pissetzky wanted information on all the witnesses the prosecution was relying on but was told he could not have one name right away. “There is a witness that we’re not disclosing at this point and we will be seeking a protective order delaying the release of her identity,” Scott rose to tell the judge.

“So I would object on that basis to going any further into the identity of witnesses.”

Bowers told Pissetzky she had already “heard enough” to establish probable cause to try Bunch in any case. She then assigned the trial to Judge Thomas Griffith and scheduled a pretrial hearing for Aug. 31.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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