Authorities link shooting case defendant to homicide

By Joe Beck

WINCHESTER — An autopsy performed on James Trenary after he was found dead in his Stephens City townhouse Sunday confirmed that he died of a gunshot wound, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

“The autopsy results show the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the lower abdomen area,” Capt. Donnie Lang said, adding that the case has been classified as a homicide.

Lang said the shooting has been linked to Eddie Alvin Debraux Sr., who had been arrested hours earlier after sheriff’s deputies investigated reports of shots being fired in the 200 block area of Nottoway Drive.

“At this point, we can connect Mr. Debraux with the potential bullet that we believe caused the death of Mr. Trenary,” Lang said.

A news release from the Sheriff’s Office states that deputies responded to a report of shots fired on Nottoway Drive around 12:29 a.m. Sunday. They discovered Trenary’s body in his home at 206 Nottoway Drive after someone asked them to check on his welfare at 2:40 p.m.

Debraux, of 234 Nottoway Drive, appeared in Frederick County General District Court on Monday where he faced charges of reckless handling of a firearm, shooting in a public place and three counts of vandalism. Debraux was returned to jail after Judge David Whitacre set a secured bond of $100,000.

A criminal complaint written by deputy S.V. Alger states that Debraux confronted him with a shotgun and pointed it at him after Alger knocked on the door of Debraux’s residence. Alger was responding to a report of shots fired in the area, according to the complaint.

Alger wrote that Debraux answered the door “and had a shotgun pointed at me.”

“I advised the male to drop the gun, which he did,” Alger wrote. “I patted him down for weapons and located a handgun in his right pocket and an empty magazine in his left rear pocket.”

The complaint states that Debraux told him that he had fired the gun in self-defense during an altercation with an unspecified person. Authorities recovered several spent casings in Debraux’s yard, according to the complaint.

The complaint also states that authorities found bullet holes in two vehicles and in the side of the townhouse. The complaint describes damage to one vehicle as “substantial” and minor to the townhouse and other vehicle.

“A witness who observed Eddie firing his weapon advised he was shooting from what appeared to be across the parking area toward the other dwellings and yelled, ‘this isn’t over,'” Alger wrote.

The witness did not see anyone else Debraux could have been shooting at or talking about, according to the complaint.

Lang said the shooting remains under investigation. He would not comment on the possibility of additional charges.

Lang said the Sheriff’s Office obtained and executed a search warrant on Debraux’s residence, but the results won’t be available until later this week.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or

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