Prosecutor Joe Shaffer will seek criminal charges against 57-year-old Tina Owens of West Virginia for accidentally shooting her 11-year-old grandson to death during a suspected home invasion.
According to reports, Owens and her son went on a walk late one night when they heard what they believed to be intruders. Owens then discharged her weapon several times to scare off the intruders. Unfortunately, one of the bullets from her .40-caliber handgun travelled 200 yards to Owen’s nearby home, penetrated a wall, and struck Owens' grandson in the chest. The child died as a result of the wound.
It’s a sad story, but things are about to get even worse for Tina Owens. "It's very difficult," Shaffer said, "but I have to also consider, What if somebody else had been shot rather than her grandson? I realize that the death of her grandson is something she's going to have to live with the rest of her life, but in any community, this is possible if people aren't responsible gun owners."
Shaffer added that he would not present the case until September because he wanted to give the family an opportunity to pay their respects and bury the boy.
If the case does go court, then Tina Owens’ son, the father of the boy, will have an opportunity to testify. There is currently no indication whether Owen’s son would testify for or against his mother.
As if the shooting wasn’t already tragic enough, the death of the 11-year-old boy may have been for nothing. When police arrived on the scene they were unable to find evidence of the suspected intruders.
That might have been one of the factors that persuaded Shaffer to pursue criminal charges. Accidentally shooting somebody during a life-or-death scenario is more justifiable than accidentally shooting somebody over unsubstantiated scary noises in the woods.
Do you think that Tina Owens should go to court for involuntary manslaughter? Or has the family already suffered enough?