Couple charged for stabbing death of DeWitt man in December

Lester Shaffer and Ashley Rodriguez are each facing charges for the stabbing death of a man in DeWitt in December 2017, according to police. (DeWitt Police)

Two people are facing charges in connection to the stabbing death of a man in DeWitt in December 2017, according to DeWitt Police.

Chief of Police John Anton says Lester D. Shaffer, 37, of DeWitt was arrested Thursday and faces numerous charges including first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder after a grand jury indictment.

A second person, 30-year-old Ashley N. Rodriguez, was arrested on January 25 and also faces several charges including hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence for her alleged actions in the days following the death of Lyle "Budda" Lyons, 54, on December 14, 2017, according to Anton.

Investigators say Lyons was found dead at 407 N. Midler Avenue Lot M6 of the Midler Meadows Trailer Park by a neighbor who went to check on him because his family had not heard from him for nearly two days prior. Lyons' death was ruled a homicide when police found he had suffered multiple stab wounds, police said.

In a release announcing the charges Thursday, Chief Anton offered his condolences to Lyons' family and credited them with helping the investigation that led to the arrests.

"The DeWitt Police Department would like to send their condolences to the children of Lyle 'Budda' Lyons and thank them for their involvement in both his life and our investigation; there help was instrumental to the resolution of this case," Anton said in a release.

Through investigation of phone records, collection of evidence and interviews with people who knew the victim, investigators said they learned of two people who were attempting to sell drugs around the time of Lyons' death and that the items were believed to have been stolen from the victim's home. Phone records indicated one of the subjects had tried to call the victim in the time leading up to his death, Anton said.

On Dec. 19, 2017, five days after Lyons was found dead, the two subjects were brought in for questioning, according to Anton. Anton says during his interview, Shaffer "changed his story multiple times in regards to going to the victim’s home during this time period and admitted to giving drugs to the other subject in question, his girlfriend, Ashley Rodriguez." Anton says Rodriguez admitted to getting the drugs from Shaffer and told investigators Shaffer had indicated they had come from a robbery.

At that point, Shaffer was arrested on a drug charge, according to Anton, and his home on lot C22 in the trailer park was searched by police. Inside police found a container appearing to match one believed missing from Lyons' home, according to Anton. Forensic testing found Lyons' DNA on the container.

Anton says further interviews with potential witnesses were conducted and evidence of the alleged sale and attempted sale of drugs believed stolen from Lyons' home was found, along with people who are believed to have been approached by the suspects to buy them.

DeWitt Police continue to investigate Lyons' death and ask anyone with information to contact them at

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