A man in Oregon is accused of getting intertwined in a contentious love triangle, fatally shooting his Russian fiancé with a shotgun, and leaving behind remnants of a fast food meal by her body, which allegedly contained a receipt from Kentucky Fried Chicken, linking him to the murder scene.
William Chase Hargrove, 29, was charged with murder, identity theft, and theft in relation to 27-year-old Anna Repinka’s death two and a half ago, according to court records.
Authorities found the woman, a Russian national, lying on her back in a forest clearing with a single shotgun blast to her head in April 2017, local outlet the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported.
At the time of Repinka’s killing, detectives located a scant amount of evidence in the forested clearing where her body was found.
“We had no idea who she was or who we were looking for at that time,” Benton County Sheriff’s Detective Christopher Duffitt testified during Hargrove’s trial, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported.
There were empty beer cans, some paper scraps, a stale cup of coffee, and other garbage, but no murder weapon. But one piece of trash stuck out that would later lead to Hargrove’s arrest: A KFC takeout bag containing a receipt — and name —for a past order. Printed on the receipt was the name Kevin Thomas, police said, according to The Washington Post.
Thomas, who police later interviewed, admitted to sharing lunch with Hargrove, who he had also lent his shotgun to, which Thomas told investigators hadn’t been returned. Hargrove was arrested a short time later, the outlet reported.
Repinka supposedly met Hargrove online and moved to Oregon to be with him roughly a month before her death. But Repinka, prosecutors say, ultimately became the victim of a “problematic love triangle,” the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported.
Hargrove had been seeing another woman on a long-term basis at the time Repinka came to the U.S. That woman, Michelle Chavez, allegedly demanded Hargrove dump the Russian woman.
“It was either her or the other, and he made a decision,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Amie Matusko told the Associated Press. “He took the victim out on a rather desolate logging road, and she was found shot in the back of the head, execution-style.”
But the suspected 29-year-old killer insists his former romantic fling, Chavez, is actually responsible for Repinka’s killing.
“Mr. Hargrove has always maintained that he did not kill his fiancée,” Mike Flinn, Hargrove's criminal defense attorney, told the Post. “The evidence at trial will clearly show that Michelle Chavez murdered Anna Repkina.”
Flinn wasn’t immediately available for comment on Tuesday.
Chavez denied participating in Repinka’s killing, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported.
The dead woman’s mother told the court last week that her daughter was an officer worker who had grown up in Moscow. Months after visiting Hargrove for Christmas in 2016, she decided to move to the U.S. full time.
“I thought she was rushing things,” Repinka’s mother, Yelena testified, according to the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
A representative for Flinn’s office said the trial is expected to run through November.
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