CHIPLEY - Two men have been indicted in the April 19 slaying of retired Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission game warden James William Shores.
The indictment was handed down Monday, June 16, by a Washington County grand jury.
Grand jurors found probable cause that Zachary Taylor Wood, 23, and Dillon Scott
Rafsky, 21, both of Geneva, Ala., committed first-degree murder, burglary while armed and
robbery while armed.
Shores, 66, of 2754 Dauphin Rd., was found at his family’s old homestead, located at 2842 Johnson Rd., after the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Alabama Bureau of Investigation that a vehicle connected to the Saturday, April 19, shooting of an Alabama State Trooper was registered to Shores. The trooper in that case, Marcel Phillips, was treated and released from a Dothan hospital for injuries obtained during a gunfight that took place when he stopped the suspects for speeding.
Officers discovered Shores’ body while performing a welfare check of his property.
Investigators report Wood and Rafsky were "out mudding" in a Jeep stolen from Woods' girlfriend when they bogged down near Shores' home. The suspects ransacked the house in what Washington County Sheriff Bobby Haddock referred to as a "crime opportunity" and were trying to free the
Jeep when Shores arrived and told them to get off the property.
The two men then followed Shores to the back of the house where they beat him with a garden hoe, bound his hands and feet, and left him facedown in the grass. After attempting and failing to light the still-living Shores on fire, the men killed him with a shotgun blast to the back of the head before stealing his 2011 Toyota Camry.
A panel of senior prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office will meet within the next few months to review the case and determine whether it meets the statutory requirements to pursue the death penalty.