Shandaken cop naps alleged killer
By Jay Braman Jr.
A Buffalo man has been charged with second-degree murder after being captured by a quick-thinking Shandaken Police detective last week.
An Erie County medical examiner’s autopsy of Constance A. Shepherd, 42, revealed the cause of death to be a deep laceration to her neck, leading police to rule the death a homicide. Chief Anthony Palombo said the cut was caused by a “sword-sized knife” that was located in another room of the Shepherd’s house in the Town of Tonawanda, a suburb of Buffalo.
Police issued a nationwide “attempt to locate” alert for her husband, Stephen Shepherd, 58.
Shandaken Police Detective Fred Holland found Shepherd camping at a fishing spot after identifying his tan 2003 Dodge Neon, for which Tonawanda police had issued a nationwide alert.
Holland said that, at first, he was unaware that it was the car in question, but had noticed the vehicle had been parked for a while, and was parked in such a way as to be hidden.
Holland said when he questioned Shepard, the man said he was there to kill himself because he had done something to “hurt my wife.”
When Shepard added that he thought he might have killed her, Holland took no chances.
“I told him to put his hands on the car and cuffed him,” he told News.
Shepherd was taken to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office to be interviewed by Tonawanda Police Detectives, who were flown by helicopter into the Kingston-Ulster Airport in the Town of Ulster later Thursday.
He was then taken back to Tonawanda, where he was charged second-degree murder, the maximum sentence for which is 25 years to life in state prison.