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Two Charged in Death of Man Who Was Allegedly Pushed From Train in Southern Wyoming

transient death
Dennis Morley and Ashley Chandler, Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office

Two people have been arrested and charged in the death of a transient whose body was found east of Wamsutter last week.

Dennis Morley, 38, of Hood River, Oregon, is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Ashley Chandler, 29, of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, is charged with accessory after the fact.

Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell says in a statement that the body of 26-year-old Eric Barrett of Royal, Arkansas, was found by Union Pacific railroad workers at about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 19.

Barrett had suffered fatal trauma as he fell from a train.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office contacted Morley and Chandler near Diamondville at about 7 a.m., after the pair had been reported to be trespassing on railroad property. Subsequent investigation revealed that Morley and Chandler were traveling with Barrett when he fell from the train.

On Monday, Utah Transit Authority Police found Morley and Chandler in Salt Lake City, Utah, based on information developed by Sweetwater County detectives.

In interviews with UTA Police, Morley and Chandler allegedly admitted to traveling with Barrett, but said they had fallen asleep on the train and only knew Barrett was gone when they woke up.

On Thursday, investigators developed additional information through both suspects regarding the investigation, when the pair contacted law enforcement in Denton County, Texas and Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Morley and Chandler both allegedly admitted that Morley pushed Barrett from the train during a fight, while the train was moving.

Afterward, Chandler allegedly discarded evidence which purportedly linked her and Morely to Barrett, prior to being contacted by Lincoln County law enforcement.

Morley was arrested in Denton County, Texas. Chandler was arrested in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Formal charges were filed against the two Friday in Rock Springs Circuit Court.

If convicted, Morley could face up to 20 years in prison. Chandler could face up to three years in prison and a fine of $3,000.

Arrangements are being made to extradite both suspects back to Wyoming to face the charges.

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