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Pair charged in Palmyra shooting

Two people wanted in last Wednesday’s shooting of a Palmyra couple had their first appearance Friday morning in Harrison Superior Court in Corydon.
Travis Fentress, 33, of Pensacola, Fla., and Tara D. Van Winkle Snawder, 31, of Depauw, had been on the run since leaving the one-story home of Ralph Thomas, 42, and Rebecca A. (Becca) Thomas, 25, at 14705 Huff St., where the shooting occurred shortly before 11 a.m.
Ralph Thomas, who police said was shot in the head, was transported by AirMethods ambulance to University Hospital in Louisville, where he died early Friday morning.
His wife, the former Rebecca Rowley, whom he married just eight days prior to the shooting, had gunshot wounds to her shoulder and jaw, police said. She was transported by ground ambulance by Harrison County Hospital EMS with non-life-threatening injuries.
Capt. Brad Shepherd of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. said the Thomas’ were inside their home when police arrived in response to a 911 call about the shootings.
Rebecca Thomas was able to tell police who had been in their home and provided a description of the vehicle, a white Kia with a Florida license plate.
Fentress, who formerly resided in northern Harrison County, and Snawder were taken into custody Thursday evening in Madison.
During the pair’s court appearance Friday morning, prior to police learning of Thomas’ death, Fentress was charged with aggravated battery and bond was set at $500,000. Snawder was charged with strangulation and had bond set at $10,000, more than the usual $1,000 for the level D felony.
Harrison County Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk said the circumstances with the case warranted Snawder’s larger bond amount.
Shortly after the charges were read, the prosecutor’s office learned Thomas had died earlier in the morning.
After receiving the news, Schalk said it’s ‘highly likely’ Fentress will face two additional charges, murder and attempted murder.
Police said Monday that upgraded charges are expected for both defendants, who are still in the Harrison County Jail, as soon as they can be scheduled in court, where a murder trial got underway last week and is expected to be complete perhaps as early as today (Wednesday) and where one of the accused murderers of a Greenville couple in 2013 requested to withdraw a plea agreement he made in November (see related stories page A1).

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