Shelton, WA - The victim of Monday’s brutal assault died Thursday at Saint Peters Hospital in Olympia, at about 3PM. Officials identified the 23 year old Shelton man as Shawn Joseph Morrow. Two Shelton men remain in jail. The two suspects are identified as Stephen R. C. Churchill, 29, Shelton, and Travis Carl Baze, 28, Shelton. They are currently being held on $350,000 and $250,000 bail respectively. Detective expects to charge Churchill and Baze with murder within the next few days.
According to investigators Churchill and Baze had contacted the victim and arranged a meet at a predetermined location to conduct a purchase of heroin. Detectives say that the victim went to meet Baze at the public fishing area adjacent to the Bayshore Golf Course during the afternoon of March 26, 2012. The victim expected to meet only with Baze and was unaware Churchill was anywhere nearby.
When the victim arrived at the public fishing access, he exited his car with cash in hand. He went over to the Baze vehicle to conduct the transaction. As the victim talked to Baze, Churchill exited an outdoor toilet and approached the victim from behind. Churchill is alleged to have struck the victim in the head at least twice with a metal baseball bat, critically injuring him and knocking him to the ground. Churchill retrieved the $45.00 in cash from the victim then Churchill and Baze left the scene.
Investigators say the victim was able to make his way to his vehicle and drive himself across the street to the Bayshore Grocery where he was discovered by passers-by who called law enforcement.
Investigators located Baze and Churchill at a residence in Lake Limerick where they were arrested. Both Churchill and Baze have made a court appearance.