The 32-year-old man accused of killing his wife last month at a home in Winfield, had been arrested in December for domestic battery.
On Dec. 6, Zachary L. Gardner was booked into jail on a single charge of domestic battery and bonded out the following day. That arrest led to a no-contact order against Gardner, who was not see his wife, 33-year-old Melissa Gardner.
Winfield Police Chief Danny Parker said the no-contact order was in place until Jan. 4. Eleven days later, on Jan. 15, Melissa Gardner was found dead at a home at 504 E. Fourth.
Police investigators believe she died of a gunshot wound.
Zachary Gardner was found near the rear of the same home and placed under arrest for 2nd-Degree intentional murder. He remains in jail on $500,000 bond.
Gardner made a brief appearance on the murder charge this morning in Cowley County Dist. Court in Winfield. The case was continued until March 1.
Cowley County Dist. Court officials said the no contact order was in effect until they were notified by the Cowley County Attorney’s Office that they would not be filing charges on the case. At that time, the no contact order was lifted.
It is not clear why the charges were not pursued.
The Dec. 6 arrest of Zachary Gardner, Parker said, was the result of an incident in which Melissa Gardner was on the phone with someone. There was yelling in the background on Melissa Gardner’s end and when she hung up the phone, the person on the other end called 911.
Police arrived to investigate and placed Zachary Gardner under arrest.