3 accused of destroying evidence in Hightower murder case

Apache Hightower's body discovered September 20

(left-right) Randall Schwirse, 42, Shelly Edwards, 38, and James Brewer Jr., 46, are accused of hindering prosecution in Apache Hightower's murder case. (Columbia County Sheriff's Office)
(left-right) Randall Schwirse, 42, Shelly Edwards, 38, and James Brewer Jr., 46, are accused of hindering prosecution in Apache Hightower's murder case. (Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

ST. HELENS, Ore. (KOIN) — Three people were arrested for allegedly hindering prosecution in the investigation into the aggravated murder of Apache Hightower.

A Columbia County grand jury filed the indictments against the 3 on November 3, KOIN 6 News learned.

Shelly M. Edwards, Randall Schwirse and James Brewer Jr. all face charges of hindering prosecution.

Apache Rose Hightower, 24, was found dead in rural St. Helens, September 20, 2016. (Columbia Co. Sheriff's Office)
Apache Rose Hightower, 24, was found dead in rural St. Helens, September 20, 2016. (Columbia Co. Sheriff’s Office)

The 3 suspects are accused of hiding a vehicle, gun and other physical evidence that may have helped detectives arrest Jesse Allen, Charles Vernon and Stephanie Toney.

Allen, Vernon and Toney have all been separately indicted with the aggravated murder of Hightower.

Court records show Hightower was a witness to a criminal proceeding. Prosecutors claim she was kidnapped, intentionally maimed or tortured and then strangled by both Vernon and Lane.

Edwards also faces one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Schwirse is charged separately with unlawful possession of methamphetamine.

Officials say the investigation into Hightower’s death is ongoing.