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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

May 4, 2011 at 4:20 PM

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Suspect in Auburn double-shooting released

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan

An Auburn man accused of killing a popular youth sports coach and wounding his brother on Sunday was released Wednesday from the King County Jail pending additional investigation by police and prosecutors.

Olenthis D. Woods, 18, will remain under investigation for the slaying of Shennon "Skeevie" Shelton and the wounding Shelton's brother, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor's Office. On Tuesday, Woods was ordered held in lieu of $1 million for investigation of second-degree murder and assault.

Wednesday was the deadline for the filing of formal charges. Woods was instead told that he would be released from jail, authorities said. Woods claims the shooting was in self-defense.

"We're going to need more time to review the case," Donohoe said.

According to police, the victim's brother, Gaston "Tui" Shelton, had been called in to break up a street fight between Woods' family and another family on Sunday. Both groups, however, turned on Gaston and assaulted him, police said.

Gaston, Shennon and two other Shelton brothers then went to the Woods' home in the 3400 block of C Court Southeast. According to an Auburn police report, Woods saw "several Samoan males approaching his house so he went inside to get his gun."

He heard the men yelling at him to come outside, police said, so Woods walked toward the front door with a loaded handgun, its safety released and its hammer cocked.

"The front door was kicked in and Woods saw two Samoan males standing at his front door," police wrote in the report. "Woods yelled at the males to get out of his house and they complied."

As Gaston took a "half step" toward him, police said, Woods fired the gun, striking the 23-year old man in the chest.

Shennon attempted to grab Woods as he walked out of his house and was shot in the neck, police said. Gaston survived, but Shennon died.

Shennon was a football and basketball coach at Cascade Middle School in Auburn. Shelton and Gaston are brothers of University of Washington football recruit Danny Shelton, a senior at Auburn High School.

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