Accused killer Tennis Maynard may be looking additional federal charges above the murder and attempted murder charges he’s now facing in Mingo County.
Maynard is charged with shooting Sheriff Eugene Crum. The gun used in the crime, a Glock .40, was purchased at a local gun dealer by Maynard. There are indications from Maynard’s father and others who say he had a history of mental problems including being once committed to an institution. Under the law he is forbidden to buy, own, or possess a firearm.
However, soon after he was released from the hospital Maynard bought the gun and was cleared in the background check because the system was just being built in West Virginia and the information on his mental condition was in the process of being transferred into the system–but hadn’t reached the National Instant Check System or NICS.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin would not confirm any of the information during an appearance on MetroNews Talkline Thursday, but said if that is the case Maynard would have had to lie on the ATF application required for all gun purchases and that would constitute a federal violation.
“If that’s clear they were a prohibited person and we can prove they possessed a firearm, we have a potential federal case,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin’s office is working with the ATF on the investigation of how Maynard obtained the weapon. He says there could be multiple charges.
“Anytime you have an individual who shouldn’t have a firearm whether they be a felon, a drug addict, or someone mentally ill, we’re interested in making sure those individuals don’t have firearms,” said Goodwin. “If they do have firearms making them accountable for it.”
Ironically records show although Maynard was cleared to buy the gun when he returned to buy a second firearm at a later date, the system flagged his case and he was denied the purchase.