updated 7/8/2011 7:43:24 PM ET 2011-07-08T23:43:24

A Wyoming man was charged Friday with killing his three sons and older brother, and wounding his wife in a string of shootings in this small farming and ranching town.

Everett E. Conant III was ordered held without bail during a hearing.

He faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and other counts. The murder and attempted-murder charges carry sentences of death or life without parole.

Conant's wife, Suzette Ann Conant, was hospitalized in good condition. Police say she was shot in the ankle and shoulder.

The judge referred to one of the sons as Joseph. A court document referred to the others as C.C. and E.C. The document indicates their ages were somewhere between 11 and 18.

All the victims were shot Thursday, Police Chief Randy Chesser said.

Everett Conant, who is in his mid-30s, was arrested after a brief standoff that followed the shootings, Chesser said.

"We don't know what the motive is at this point for sure," Chesser said Friday.

Jail officials said they had no record of whether Conant had an attorney.

Everett Conant worked briefly at the Wyoming Premium Farms hog farm just north of Wheatland this spring but quit after mentioning problems arranging child care, said Doug Derouchey, the general manager.

"Kind of kept to himself," Derouchey said.

"He just mentioned something about he was having difficulties kind of working it out time-wise," Derouchey said. "He was, I think, having problems elsewhere."

Suzette Conant works at an A&W restaurant in Wheatland, said Beth Horsley, her co-worker.

"She is the nicest person in the world. She didn't do anything to anybody," Horsley said.

Jessica Kornder, who lives in the same mobile home park as the Conants, said she heard a disturbance Thursday and saw a woman with wounds to her arm and foot.

"I was in the kitchen doing some dishes after supper and I heard these two 'pows,' and I thought it was fireworks. And then I heard this awful screaming," Kornder said.

"(The injured woman) said that her babies were dead, her babies were dead," Kornder said. Kornder said she didn't know the woman's name.

Wheatland is a farming and ranching community of about 3,600 at the edge of the plains, not far from the Laramie Mountains. It is about 70 miles north of Cheyenne.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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