From KTVZ (NewsChannel 21): Two Bend brothers arrested in Tennessee on nationwide felony warrants in the fatal shooting of Taylor Shane Wyss, 33, of Redmond, outside a downtown Bend bar made their first court appearance Monday on “fugitive from justice” charges and waived extradition, Deschutes County District Attorney Steve Gunnels said.
Caleb Joseph Cegers, 20, has been charged in Deschutes County with second-degree murder and unlawful use of a firearm in the fatal shooting of Taylor Wyss of Redmond, and brother Dahnte Nathaniel Cegers, 25, accused of hindering prosecution as his brother was being sought.
Caleb Cegers was contacted and arrested without incident in Cleveland, Tennessee, east of Chattanooga, around 11:30 p.m. EST Friday “without incident,” Sergeant Jason Wall said. His brother, Dahnte, was contacted earlier Friday evening at a residence in the city of about 50,000 and taken into custody, also without incident, Wall said.
Caleb Cegers is accused of second-degree murder in the August 10 fatal downtown Bend shooting of Taylor Wyss of Redmond. His brother is accused of hindering his prosecution.
Gunnels said the two men will be extradited as soon as possible, since they waived any delay. But he said the process usually takes weeks to arrange and complete.
The DA also shed some more light Monday on the brothers’ arrest.
“The (U.S.) Marshals Office was conducting surveillance on a location that was believed to be where the suspects were staying,” he told NewsChannel 21. “They spotted one of the suspects. And then, very soon after, took him into custody, and then were able to locate the other suspect and took him into custody, both in public places outside of their apartment.”
“One of the brothers left the apartment, and they caught him, leading to them finding the other,” he said.
A Bradley County, Tennessee court representative said the men were arraigned Monday morning, and jail records indicate they remain held without bail. They are scheduled to return to court for a hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 5, when Oregon authorities are expected to be on hand, for the process of returning them to Deschutes County.
Wall said the sheriff’s office wanted to “extend their appreciation to the United States Marshal’s Service and the Cleveland (Tennessee) Police Department for their assistance.”
Gunnels told NewsChannel 21 on Saturday that sheriff’s detectives “worked with authorities in Tennessee” to apprehend the pair. Jail entries for the two men showed no new local charges in Tennessee.
Asked if he was surprised the two men had gotten all the way across the country to Tennessee in the days since the crime, Gunnels said, “I’m not surprised. They likely had family in the area” where they were caught.
“Obviously, it’s a relief for everybody that nobody was hurt” during the two men’s arrests, Gunnels said, “in addition to the damage that’s already been done.”
“Now we’ll seek extradition from Tennessee, work with the governor’s office to try to get both brothers brought here, to go to trial in Deschutes County,” he said. Gunnels said the cases have not yet gone to the grand jury, and there could be more or different charges in the subsequent indictments.
Unlike two other unrelated, unsolved Bend-area homicides in recent weeks and months, of Evelyn Weaver and Leonard Peverieri, Gunnels said that in this case, “we knew who the suspect was. It was just a matter of time before police caught up with him.”
Gunnels said he could not yet share more details of the crime, but that more will come to light in court, possibly at bail hearings for the brothers.
How soon that might be will become clearer in coming days, as the DA said “it depends on the court process in Tennessee.” Gunnels said he believes “other states are fairly quick at return” of wanted fugitives.
Deschutes County detectives will take part in any extradition hearings, Gunnels said, noting that the men “can fight extradition, which could delay” things, but he expects that they’ll be back in Oregon “within the next few weeks.”
Gunnels offered gratitude to the police in Cleveland, Tennessee: “I am very grateful that they put themselves at risk to capture” the suspects.
But he also noted, “I don’t believe they were armed at the time” of their arrest. Authorities had warned the public to consider them both “armed and dangerous.”
Kelsey McGee reached out and spoke with family and friends of Wyss on Saturday and learned of their reactions to the arrests, a sense of relief.
Court records show Caleb Cegers pleaded guilty in April to a menacing charge and was sentenced to five days in jail and 18 months probation. In April, he pleaded guilty to DUII and was placed in a diversion program.
Dahnte Cegers was indicted on five charges in 2019, including menacing and recklessly endangering another person, accused of pointing a handgun at another man, as well as felon in possession of a firearm, having been convicted in 2017 of third-degree assault (as well as second-degree burglary). He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a Class A misdemeanor and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 18 months probation.
In May 2021, Bend police said two brothers were hospitalized after being stabbed during an altercation involving numerous people in the parking lot of the Stonebriar Apartments. Police did not identify the two victims, but the Cegers’ father said they were his sons, Dahnte and Caleb.
Police said a 21-year-old Redmond man turned himself in a short time after officers announced he was being sought. Court records show Eric David Taylor pleaded guilty to two fourth-degree assault charges and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 18 months probation, including no contact with the two victims.
Wall had said earlier Friday that the sheriff’s office detective unit was “continuing to work tirelessly to apprehend” the two brothers.
The warrant was issued Friday, August 11 for Caleb Cegers for second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. A nationwide warrant was issued last Tuesday for Dahnte Nathaniel Cegers for the crime of hindering prosecution, Wall said.
Wall did not provide details, but Tuesday’s court filing said Dahnte Cegers helped his brother avoid apprehension “on or about” last Tuesday, several days after the killing.