Authorities have released a stumbling 911 call made by a man charged with shooting his wife to death and then restaging the crime scene.
Dwight Luton, 32, is heard haltingly telling a Florida emergency operator that his 31-year-old wife, Ashley Balius, has had an accident. At times, his voice sounds slurred and he appears to have difficulty explaining what has happened.
Luton: “My wife … she had an accident … she’s in the …"
Operator: “OK, what happened?”
Luton: “We just went to the store.”
Operator: “Tell me what happened with the accident.”
Luton: “I need an ambulance right now.”
Operator: “I understand. I need to know what happened so I know what to send. Sir, what happened to her?”
"Oh, she’s injured,” he says, 50 seconds into the call. “She got a gunshot wound.”
He has been charged with first-degree murder and tampering/fabricating evidence in the March 7 shooting. He is being held without bail and has not entered a plea.
Luton was standing in his Riviera Beach driveway, propping up his wife, who was hanging from the driver’s seat of a blue SUV and bleeding profusely, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by police.
He told officers his wife had accidentally shot herself while trying to remove a gun from her purse, officers said.
But surveillance video from several cameras mounted at the front of the house showed Luton reaching inside the vehicle with a handgun and appearing to fire a shot, the affidavit said.
He then wipes down the dashboard area and flings several small items, believed to be brain matter, out of the SUV, the document says. Luton wipes himself down, then makes a call on a cell phone while his wife is slumped behind the wheel, police said.
The surveillance video shows him walking into the house, carrying a silver handgun by a pinkie finger, the affidavit says. About a minute later, he returns, talking on the cell, and removes his T-shirt and appears to be rendering aid to his wife as officers arrive, according to the document.
Balius, who had been shot in the right ear, died hours later at a nearby hospital, police said.
Luton was arrested after police, armed with a search warrant, viewed security camera footage on the couple’s home computer.
The couple operated a firearms business and been married less than a year. Luton was arrested last year after Balius reported he hit her in the face, but charges were dropped after she declined to pursue the case, according to court records,