Courtesy photo
Harrison County Prosecutor Joe Shaffer

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Harrison County Prosecutor Joe Shaffer said Tuesday he will present a Sunday night shooting death case to the next session of the county’s grand jury.

Shaffer said he’ll allow a grand jury to decide if “criminal charges would be appropriate” in the case of Tina Owens.

Investigators say Owens, 57, of Jarvisville, killed her 11-year-old grandson William Owens Sunday night when she fired several shots from a .40 caliber pistol. She thought there were trespassers on her property and one of the shots went through her son’s home, striking the grandson who was in bed.

Owens has not been charged.

In a statement Tuesday, Prosecutor Shaffer said he’s decided to go to the grand jury because the victim in the case and shooter were related and because it’s an issue of responsible gun ownership.

“It’s a good case for members of the community to decide if charges will be appropriate in this case,” Shaffer said.

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  • DonaldH

    What will Joe Biden be charged with??

    • jmr012

      You suffer from mental illness, don't you?

  • thornton

    The "house next door" was supposedly 200 yards away.
    Where was the woman when she turned the .40 loose?
    Sounds as if the nighttime practice was nothing new as well.
    Let the Grand Jury hear the particulars once determined.......prosecute!

    As a gun owner for nearly 50 years, the attitudes and actions by far too many gun owners today is shameful.
    Too many Walter Mittys out and about.

  • Debra

    If the house next door would have belonged to Someone who was unrelated to her would she have been charged? I think that is the key question. I think she would have.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    its involuntary manslaughter from what i have heard, file the charges and let a judge and jury decide guilt or innocence. do your job

  • cutty77

    When you shoot a Gun into somebody's house in the middle of the night,then it kills somebody,family or not.What do you think he should do. This is a Very Serious Act,and should be dealt with very Serious Action. You people on here against this,ARE CRAZY.Hope none of you have Guns,but i'm sure i'm wrong this.

  • Sportsman

    The prosecutor in Harrison County should be impeached for this. Do your job and don't delegate your responsibilities to others. This is a crime. Let a jury decide guilt or innocence.

    • Shadow

      So what is wrong having a Grand Jury decide if it is Manslaughter or Murder? To me, it is judging by your peers in a difficult call.

      • Sportsman

        What is wrong is that this person shot and killed someone and is still allowed to roam free. She should have been arrested on the spot. I feel for her but she has no one to blame for her irresponsible behavior but herself. The officers didn't arrest her, the prosecutor doesn't want to charge her, and the grand jury will probably let her go. Harrison County, the only place in America you can kill someone and get away with it.

  • Jeff

    Know your target before squeezing the trigger. Period.

  • Brian

    Really he knows charges should be filed, but because of the heart wrenching nature of the case, he doesn't want to make the call. It is really a cowardly punt by the prosecutor. He knows what to do, but is afraid many will be offended and his re-election chances will be hurt, so he is shirking the decision off onto the people.

  • wvumounties8

    Negligent homicide is just that. It is unfortunate that this happened and I feel for the family, but the prosecutor is right to let a Grand Jury decide if charges should be filed.

  • Highlander

    How nice of the Prosecutor add to the family's grief after such an accident.

    • J.P.

      He isn't adding to the grief. He is following the law. The grandmother caused all of this with her own reckless behavior. She didn't actually see anything, but still thought that it was a good idea to start shooting. It was only 11:30, and it could have been family out there in the yard and not an intruder. Would she have shot them too? If you want to fire a warning shot, you fire it into the ground or air, not in the direction of houses and people. The grandmother is surely suffering plenty, but she did take a life because of her own doing. She made a choice to carelessly fire the gun. She saw no threat to her or her family's safety, but figured she would fire a few shots just in case. This was not an accident, it was a reckless and stupid choice.