Husband of slain Mason Valley postal worker arrested, charged with 1st degree murder

Mug shot of Dustin Cooper, the husband of a slain Mason Valley postal worker Johnie Shadden. Shadden was killed in March 2016. (Photo courtesy: Lyon Co. Sheriff's Office)

The Lyon County Sheriff's Office said Thursday a suspect has been arrested in connection to the death of a Mason Valley postal worker in late March.

Officials said 27-year-old Dustin Cooper, husband of slain wife Johnie Shadden, has been charged with first degree murder with the use of a deadly weapon.

He was arrested on Dec. 15, 2016, and is being held at the Lyon County Detention Center in Yerington without bail.

The investigation into Johnie Shadden's death began on March 22, 2016, when Lyon County Sheriff's deputies found she had died from a gunshot wound Stanley Lane in Mason Valley.

The location of Shadden's death was on her mail delivery route, according to Lyon County authorities.

Dustin Cooper originally reported his wife's death as an accident; and authorities investigated it as such initially.

US Postal Inspectors assisted with the arrest, and the FBI assisted the nine-month investigation, according to a statement from Lyon County.

Cooper reportedly had a number of weapons in his possession for repairs; these were confiscated and will be held through the duration of the investigation, Lyon County officials said.

Stay with News 4 for more on this developing story.

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