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Fort Bragg man charged with murder after fatal collision

A Fort Bragg man has been charged with murder following a shooting, high speed chase and a fatal collision that took place early Thursday morning in Mendocino County.

Shayne Tyler Wrede, 35, is being held on $500,000 bail after police say he drove his pickup truck into a motorcycle operated by Mark Hutchinson, of Willits. That collision took place at 5:45 a.m. in the 1500 Block of Caspar Road in Caspar, according to a report from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Hutchinson, 48, died at the scene.

After responding to that pre-dawn collision, sheriff’s deputies learned that Wrede had earlier that morning reported being the victim of a shooting at an apartment complex on South Street in Fort Bragg.

When Fort Bragg police were dispatched to that complex, they found evidence – shell casings and bullet strikes – consistent with a shooting, said Capt. Gregory Van Patten of the sheriff’s office. Hutchinson “has been alleged to be the shooter,” said Van Patten. None of the bullets struck Wrede.

A short time later, he and Hutchinson were involved in a 4.6-mile chase, reaching speeds of at least 90 mph through Fort Bragg, then south to nearby Caspar, where the fatal collision occurred.

To assist in analyzing the scene of the crash, the Sheriff’s office called in a CHP Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team from Redding. Those units conduct in-depth investigations of major traffic collisions. That team’s report was not complete as of Sunday.

After speaking with witnesses and reviewing surveillance video, detectives from the Sheriff’s office developed probable cause to believe Wrede intentionally struck Hutchinson’s motorcycle with his 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck “at a high rate of speed,” according to the report.

Wrede was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail at noon Thursday on a charge of murder. The county’s District Attorney’s office will have “the ultimate determination on whether the murder charge will stay, or if there will be any kind of modification,” Van Patten said.

Wrede, who was also charged with violating his parole, is well known to law enforcement authorities in Fort Bragg. In January 2006, while serving a sentence for possession of stolen property, he escaped from a home custody program by removing his monitoring bracelet. He turned himself in several days later.

In 2008, authorities working on a tip that a robbery suspect was hiding in Fort Bragg, found Wrede in the bedroom closet of a home on South McPherson Street. Wrede was in possession of a stun gun at the time of that arrest.

Anyone with information related to Thursday’s sequence of events – the shooting incident on South Street, and the subsequent vehicle chase involving a motorcycle and dark colored pick-up truck that resulted in a fatal collision on Caspar Road -- is urged to call the Mendocino County Sheriff's tip line at 707-234-2100. Residents or businesses with surveillance video facing a 5-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 1 between the Walnut Street Safeway and Caspar Road to the south are also asked to contact the Sheriff's Office.

You can reach Staff Writer Austin Murphy at 707-521-5214 or austin.murphy@pressdemocrat.com or on Twitter @ausmurph88.

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