LIBERTY — The Taylor County man charged in last week’s murder at a Casey County business told a detective that the victim was killed over a debt.
The alleged shooter, however, remains at large.
David Salyers, 59, of Elk Horn, is being held today in the Casey County Detention Center under a $1-million cash bond after being charged with complicity to commit murder in the Sept. 26 death of Wendell “Gleason” Pyles of Adair County, who was shot three times in the head while working alone in a pallet mill at Tarter Manufacturing Co. in Dunnville.
According to the arrest citation filed by Kentucky State Police Detective Ricky Brooks, Salyers admitted he drove the man who shot Pyles to the Tarter mill in his truck, which was torched later that night.
KSP Sgt. Andy Olsen said Thursday afternoon that at least one more arrest is expected in the case, but was unsure if officers have been unable to locate the man Salyers identified as the shooter or were continuing to investigate before filing any more charges.
After arresting Salyers late Wednesday night, KSP’s Special Response Team executed a search warrant on his residence just east of Campbellsville early Thursday morning. Items seized in the raid were expected to lead to additional charges and arrests in the future, police said.
According to the citation, Salyers and Pyles had been engaged in an on-going argument over money that Pyles owed to Salyers. Initially, Salyers declined to reveal what happened the night Pyles was shot because “he was not a rat,” the citation states.
Later in the interview, however, Salyers told Brooks “what happened was not over (Pyles) turning in his colors to the Iron Horsemen Motorcycle Club but rather it was over a debt,” according to the citation.
Since the shooting, it had been widely rumored that Pyle’s death was related to his involvement in the outlaw motorcycle gang.
Olsen declined to discuss that alleged connection and said to take the reference to the Iron Horsemen in the arrest citation “at face value.”
Olsen said police could not officially identify anyone’s affiliation with such motorcycle clubs because there is no public record of membership. “That would be like me saying he was Baptist, but it turned out he was Methodist,” Olsen said.
Taylor County Deputy Brian Pickard said this morning that Salyers’ burned truck was discovered along Raikes Road near Salyers’ home at 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 26, about an hour and a half after a night watchman at Tarter heard gunshots and discovered Pyles’ body.
Salyers told police he didn’t know where his truck was and reported it stolen after it had been destroyed by fire, Pickard said.
An arson investigation remains open and Salyers is considered a person of interest in the fire but has not been charged, the deputy said.