A shooting that left a rural El Dorado County woman and one of her sons dead Wednesday may have stemmed from an inheritance dispute, authorities said.
Milo Lloyd Wallace, 49, was booked into El Dorado County Jail early Thursday on suspicion of murder and assault with a deadly weapon. His mother, Sandra Wallace, 71, and brother Matthew Wallace, 38, were found dead with gunshot wounds late Wednesday afternoon at the home Sandra Wallace owned at 5400 Rocky Ridge Road, in the Oak Hill area southeast of Placerville.
Deputies responded about 5:15 p.m. to a 911 call from Brooke Warner, Matthew Wallace’s wife, stating that she was at the Rocky Ridge Road residence with a man who had pulled a gun on her. Warner said she and her brother had detained the man but feared he had killed her husband, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. When deputies arrived, they found the bodies of Sandra Wallace and her younger son, Matthew, a Cameron Park resident.
Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Tom Murdoch said Milo Wallace lived with his mother and that Matthew Wallace had driven to the house earlier Wednesday to assist with some work that needed to be done.
When Matthew Wallace did not return home late Wednesday afternoon, his wife drove to the Rocky Ridge Road residence. Sheriff’s officials said she took her brother along because of tension between the Wallace brothers over the future inheritance of the family property.
Public records show that Sandra Wallace’s husband, Leonard Francis Wallace, died in February at age 77.
At the house, Warner knocked on the door and was met by Milo Wallace, who pointed a gun at her, sheriff’s officials said. After a scuffle, Warner and her brother got the gun away from Milo Wallace and detained him until deputies arrived.
Sheriff’s officials said Sandra Wallace was found dead inside the house and Matthew Wallace’s body was found outside, behind the house. Both had suffered gunshot wounds, but the official cause of death will be determined after a forensic autopsy.
The circumstances leading up to the deaths and how they occurred remained under investigation.
Milo Wallace is being held without bail. His arraignment has not been scheduled.
Dina Savoroski, a next-door neighbor of the Wallaces for the past nine years, said the shooting did not come as a shock to her. Savoroski said she often talked to Milo Wallace as she walked her dog, and he spoke of his resentment toward his brother, who he thought was not doing enough to help care for his aging and ailing parents.
Savoroski said she understood that he had grown up at the Rocky Ridge Road home and had lived off and on with his parents as an adult. She described Sandra Wallace as a quiet woman who had worked at various jobs over the years but primarily kept to herself. Savoroski said she considered the family to be good neighbors.
Although Rocky Ridge Road is a rural neighborhood with homes on large parcels, Savoroski described the residents as a close-knit group who have one another’s cellphone numbers. After Thursday’s shooting, she said, “The phone was ringing off the hook.”
Efforts to talk with members of the Wallace family were unsuccessful. A woman who answered the phone identified herself as Matthew Wallace’s sister but declined to speak with a reporter.