Autopsy shows Central Point woman was stabbed to death

A Central Point man faces a possible life sentence for reportedly stabbing his former girlfriend to death at her East Pine Street apartment.

Jeffrey Wayne Wheeler, 36, was arraigned on a murder charge today in Jackson County Circuit Court. The charge carries a minimum 25-year prison sentence under Oregon sentencing guidelines. The maximum sentence is life behind bars.

Meanwhile, an autopsy performed on the body of 32-year-old Jessica Bethany determined she succumbed to "multiple stab wounds" police believe were inflicted by Wheeler.

Police continued their investigation today, with detectives processing the scene while the Oregon State Police mobile crime lab was parked outside the apartment.

"There's still a lot of footwork to do in this case," Central Point police Capt. Chuck Newell said. "We are out collecting follow-up leads. There's a lot to cover."

Newell remained tight-lipped about the events officers believe preceded the killing.

Police entered the apartment near Abby's Pizza and found Bethany's body early Sunday morning. Wheeler was identified as the primary suspect. He was later found and detained by police in Medford.

— Chris Conrad

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