CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A Harrison County grandmother will spend the next year on probation after accidentally shooting and killing her grandson last summer.

Tina Owens, 57, of Jarvisville, was sentenced Thursday afternoon in Harrison County Circuit Court. She pleaded guilty in October to one count of involuntary manslaughter.

Owens thought she heard someone near her property on the night of June 30 and stepped outside to fire several rounds from her .40 caliber handgun. One bullet went into her son’s house next door, into the bedroom of her grandson 11-year-old William Andrew Owens. He died at the scene.

Tina Owens faced a year in jail at Thursday’s sentencing but the judge suspended the sentence and placed her on probation for a year. The victim’s father, Owens’ son, asked the judge for probation.


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  • Mr Bullsnip

    There is nothing you can say as to how STUPID this judge is.

  • John

    What purpose does it serve for this woman to serve time in jail when she has lost the most precious thing in her world, she is in a worse place than jail could ever be?
    Please don't be hateful...

    • Billy

      I agree. She will forever be a prisoner in her own mind. Living the horror over and over again, never being able to come to terms with it. How could being locked up punish her more

      • J.P.

        Really? Have you examined her doctor? I don't want to hear that crap. She deserves prison time. She knowingly went outside to fire at some noises she heard. She could have fired her gun into the ground, but no her intent has to harm or kill someone. She killed an innocent child, and should receive punishment.

      • Jason412

        What? Are you serious? If someone is DUI, wrecks, and kills their passenger they get 5+ years. Do you not think those people are not also "prisoners of their own mind"

        The justice system shouldnt be based on how bad you feel for murdering a child after the fact.

        With a little common sense and a firearm safety class the kid would still be alive.

        Where is her charge for wanton endangerment? For christ sakes she didnt fire at a specific target, or warning shots into the air, she shot straight towards a house.


          Couldn't have said it better. So now we are punishing people based on a level of mental anguish in lieu of the law and jail time. Only in WV!

        • Billy

          This was a accident. It was her own grandson. I am glad that the court was reasonable in their sentence. What would you prefer? Maybe they should have lynched he at high noon. Follow this link and see what this drunk kid got for killing 4.

          • Larry

            An "accident" would have been if she were target shooting, fell, dropped the gun, it discharged and someone was shot, this was a terrible decision, coupled with stupidity.

          • Jason412

            Crazy enough Billy I had just read that story on WTAE a little bit ago.

            No i wouldnt prefer she be lynched, but the fact is she killed someone out of sheer negligence, stupidity, paranoia Im not even sure what word to use.

            I hate to say it but this makes me wonder if she wasnt high on meth or mentally ill, in either case she shouldnt have guns.

            What kind person thinks someone is NEAR their property and fires not one, but several, shots into the dark towards a house? The type of person who should be in jail.

            If this lady moved into your neighborhood and decided to shoot large caliber pistol rounds at imaginary people how would you feel about her then? She says she was trying to "scare away intruders" but she didnt shoot once, or in the air, she shot several times towards NOTHING but a house.

            If you shoot at every sound you hear in the night, towards houses, you should be in jail.

            Checking in with a probation officer for 10 minutes a month 12 times is not adequate punishment for killing a child.

    • WVMom

      I feel pity for the ignorant woman and her family too. I am sure that no matter where she is that she will relive that horrible night over and over. However, I agree with Jason 412 on this and could not have said it any better myself. I am sure you would not feel the same way if she had shot your grandson instead. But it is somehow ok that she shot her own grandson on accident and has suffered enough. She gets to stay at home and live her life by finding things to do that make her happy.

    • jag

      probably because she committed a murder. what if it was your son?

  • Debra

    Justice was not served. If this would have been a non family member killed, I believe she would have served some jail time . Sad. Very sad. I hope she is not allowed to ever again own a firearm !

  • Steven

    This is exactly why people do NOT have to be responsible gun owners in WV. They can "accidentally" kill children and not serve one day in jail.

    It isn't an accident when you are shooting at ghosts at night time near homes.


      I agree totally. She should have been given some jail time. Perhaps 30 days at least. Wildly shooting at an unconfirmed target is wreck less and negligent. Unbelievable. So if anyone else goes out and starts shooting at shadows and kills someone I expect them to get probation too.

      • Larry

        Im with both of you, especially since she had done the same thing before, without the terrible consequences. In no way should someone like that have ever owned a firearm.

        • Jason412

          Thats the problem with the current state of gun ownership, the gun owner has to kill someone or catch a felony before anyone has any idea this lady probably hasnt been stable enough to own a gun for 10-20 years or maybe ever.

          She killed a small child because she thought someone was NEAR, not actually on, her property.

          And this is a fine example why only the most incompetent use a .40 cal for "home defense", especially when they have neighbors.

          If this lady had ANY bit of info on the gun she was firing she would know a high caliber pistol round goes right thru walls. She also would know you dont bust several rounds towards an occupied residence.

          But why would you waste time learning about guns when as long as you arent a felon and you can point to whichever gun looks cool you have 0 problems buying it.

          I guess if theres one thing to be thankful for, its that no one sold this lady a 7.62 with a 30 round mag.

      • GregG

        I doubt that anyone else would get by with it. There are people in prison right now that didn't even kill someone. Getting caught with 2 plants in your back yard would get you more time than this woman received for killing a child.