Autopsy reveals brutal homicide
The autopsy reports on the victims in the double homicide in Douglas County revealed they died extraordinarily violent deaths.
Amara Wells, 39, and Robert Rafferty, 49, were found dead in the Rafferty home in the early morning hours of Feb. 23, when officers responded to a call for service at the remote home of Robert and Tamara Rafferty. Wells and her 6-year-old daughter were living with the Raffertys following Wells’ separation from her husband, Christopher Wells.
Christopher Wells, 49, is Tamara Rafferty’s brother. He and three alleged accomplices have been charged with the murders.
Court records reflect Tamara Rafferty was an intended victim in the attack, during which Amara Wells and Robert Rafferty were stabbed, beaten and shot. The autopsy suggests their attackers attempted to burn Rafferty’s body before fleeing the scene.
Robert Rafferty sustained three stab wounds to his neck, with injuries to his jugular vein and artery. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and charring with marked soot on his right arm and on the right side of his head. Rafferty had multiple abrasions, including lacerations on his head, contusions on his forehead and face, and multiple missing teeth.
The coroner report shows he had extensive bruising on his right hand, with multiple contusions in his midsection.
Amara Wells suffered five stab wounds around her neck and on her back and a gunshot wound to the head. The coroner reports the bullet entered the left side of her face and was recovered on the autopsy table.
The report indicates Amara Wells was beaten in the attack, with multiple abrasions and contusions on her head. The coroner reports the possibility of unknown chemical or irritant injuries to her neck and torso.
The official cause of death is listed as multiple stab wounds to her torso, with the gunshot to her head a contributing factor in her death. The coroner determined both Amara Wells and Rafferty were homicide victims.
Christopher Wells and three of his former co-workers face murder charges in the deaths of his estranged wife and brother-in-law. Josiah Sher, 26, Matthew Plake, 26, and Micah Woody, 29, face multiple charges, including murder in the first degree, solicitation to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Additional charges include intimidating a witness and child abuse. Comments made by the guardian ad litem for the Wells’ 6-year-old daughter disclose the child was a witness at the scene of the crime.
Wells and his alleged accomplices remain in custody at the Douglas County detention facility on a no-bond hold.