A receipt from a fast-food restaurant led investigators to William Chase Hargrove, the 27-year-old Corvallis man charged with murder in the execution-style shooting of his Russian girlfriend in the woods outside Alsea on April 17.
That was among several new details in the case that came to light on Friday, when a Benton County District Court judge unsealed the probable cause affidavit used to obtain search warrants in the case.
The document also revealed that the victim, a 27-year-old Russian woman named Anna Alekseyevna Repkina, had a gunshot wound to the back and top of her head and that the medical examiner who autopsied the body had placed the time of death at sometime between the evening of April 16 and the following afternoon.
Sgt. Chris Duffitt of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office testified in the affidavit that the receipt was found at the scene of the crime, a dead-end spur off a logging road several miles from Alsea, a Coast Range community of fewer than 200 people about 25 miles southwest of Corvallis.
According to the affidavit, the receipt indicated that Hargrove and another man, Kevin Thomas, had made a purchase at a local fast-food joint. Investigators then questioned Thomas, who told them that he had left the trash from the meal, including the receipt, in Hargrove’s vehicle.
Benton County authorities have previously identified Repkina, who entered this country at Los Angeles International Airport on March 1, as the victim and indicated that she and Hargrove were involved in a “problematic love triangle.” Assistant District Attorney Amie Mutusko, the prosecutor in the case, said at Hargrove’s arraignment that his other girlfriend had demanded that he choose between them.
The court filing unsealed on Friday adds a number of details to that picture.
In the affidavit, Duffitt writes that Thomas told investigators that Hargove was dating both Repkina and a married woman. He also told investigators that he had lent Hargrove a shotgun about three weeks before Repkina’s body was discovered — and that the weapon had not yet been returned.
Under questioning, Hargrove admitted to being in a relationship with a woman named Michelle Chavez and to picking her up at a store in Alsea for a rendezvous on April 16, but he denied having driven up the logging road where Repkina’s body was found. He admitted to knowing Repkina but denied being romantically involved with her, saying he barely knew her and that he thought she had moved out of the area. According to the affidavit, Hargrove also admitted borrowing a shotgun from Thomas but said he had returned it.
But the affidavit goes on to provide other information that contradicts Hargrove’s statement on several key points.
For instance, it says that both Chavez and her husband, Rawley Greene, stated that Hargrove was living with Repkina and that they were engaged to be married. It also says Chavez told investigators she and Hargrove had once spent the night at the location where Repkina’s body was later found.
Finally, it says that Chavez admitted giving Hargrove an ultimatum about choosing between his two lovers, telling him he needed to “fix it” and “get rid of her.”
Duffitt also writes that Thomas told investigators Repkina and Chavez “had a very contentious relationship as they fought over Hargrove” and that Chavez had confirmed Thomas’ account.
Search warrants were served at two residences associated with Hargrove. At 794 Montclair Drive NE in Albany, investigators found a backpack containing shotgun shells in his bedroom, and at 2021 NW Garfield Ave. in Corvallis they found evidence that Hargrove and Repkina were on the lease together and had been sharing the home since March 8, according to the affidavit.
Hargrove was arrested on April 19 and arraigned the following day in Benton County Circuit Court, where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder. He is being held without bail in the Benton County Jail. No trial date has been set.
Matusko declined to say on Friday whether a shotgun was used to kill Repkina, saying she could not reveal any additional details about the case. She also declined to say whether any additional charges or arrests might be forthcoming.
Hargrove’s court-appointed attorney, Mike Flinn, could not be reached for comment Friday. But in a statement previously released to the Gazette-Times, he counseled against a rush to judgment in the case.
“Mr. Hargrove’s case is far from simple,” he told the newspaper. “There are a significant number of issues to address, and a substantial amount of evidence to review, including conducting an independent investigation, before passing judgment. Any current conclusions made about Mr. Hargrove are incredibly premature.”
Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.
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