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DA to decide on prosecution in slain deputy case

LAWRENCEVILLE - Investigators will turn over findings in the case of slain Sheriff's Department Lt. Don Bassett to the county's top prosecutor, who'll make a determination whether to file criminal charges, authorities said Wednesday.

At issue is whether a criminal act was committed by Bassett's live-in fiancee, Morgan Schrader, 20, in his April 30 death.

Police said Bassett died when a gun discharged as he and Schrader physically struggled in their Dacula home about 1:30 a.m. Investigators have not disclosed how the gun was fired.

Danny Porter, Gwinnett District Attorney, said detectives plan to wrap up their investigation soon and prepare a report for his review. He gave no timeline as to when he might make a decision.

"We have to look at all the evidence and see if a crime has been committed," Porter said. "It's going to be a combination of the statement of the defendant, compared with all the forensic evidence."

Porter said Bassett, 38, was shot high in the abdomen area, and the bullet traveled under his ribcage. He died shortly afterward at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli said the investigation is ongoing. Homicide detectives called a special meeting to discuss evidence earlier this week, he said.

The handgun that killed Bassett was not his department-issued weapon. Investigators are trying to determine to whom the weapon belonged, Porter said.

Schrader was interviewed at length and released from police custody the day of the shooting.

Bassett, a father of four, worked in the professional standards unit, investigating complaints against employees and fellow deputies. He was buried Monday in Monroe.