The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

April 12, 2013

Shooting suspect may have lied on gun application

CHARLESTON — A man charged with killing a West Virginia sheriff is being investigated by federal prosecutors over his gun permit application, a prosecutor said Thursday.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Thursday that the investigation will focus on the form filled out by 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, including whether he was truthful about his personal information.

Maynard is accused of shooting Sheriff Eugene Crum last week as the he ate lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has said Maynard wasn’t allowed to own a gun but wouldn’t disclose why. Maynard’s father has said his son had mental problems and had previously been in an institution.

Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is leading the investigation into the application, Goodwin said.

“Lying on the form is a federal crime,” he said.

Goodwin said the investigation also would look into whether there was a violation of gun possession law.

Authorities haven’t disclosed what year Maynard bought a weapon at a local gun shop after filling out his gun application. Sometime after that, Maynard was turned down when he tried to make additional purchases, Sparks said.

In January 2011, the state Supreme Court debuted a database that links with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which federally licensed firearms shops use to determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to make purchases. The national background-check system was established under the 1993 Brady Bill.

The state database involves information on people who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, said Supreme Court Administrator Steve Canterbury. Court records on such cases are confidential under state code, he said.

On Wednesday, Sparks said there was a delay at the state level in reporting information to the national database that would have disqualified Maynard from gun ownership.

“You can’t delay reporting if something doesn’t exist,” Canterbury said. “We did not have a connecting system to NICS until 2011.”

County mental hygiene commissioners are directed within 72 hours of an involuntary commitment to enter data that’s automatically sent on to NICS.

Data collected starting in December 2009 didn’t appear in the database until early 2011.

Before 2011, data reporting was considered voluntary, “but there was none,” Canterbury said. “To the best of my knowledge, nobody was ever reported from West Virginia before January 2011.”

Canterbury said FBI data show that 139 people have been denied firearms purchases nationwide due to mental health data submitted to the NICS system from West Virginia. That includes 120 people denied in West Virginia and 19 out of state.

Maynard was shot and wounded by a Mingo County deputy in a chase following the April 3 attack on Crum. State police say he crashed his car into a bridge in his hometown of Delbarton, then got out and pointed a weapon at the deputy, who shot him in self-defense.

State Police have said Maynard is up and moving at a Huntington hospital. Authorities have charged Maynard in state court with first-degree murder and attempted murder.


Text Only
West Virginia
  • Manchin urges mines to speak out for coal

    The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House’s strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal’s role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants.

    April 16, 2014

  • Many schools already meet new mandate for breakfast

    Many West Virginia public schools have changed the way they serve breakfast to students ahead of a requirement that goes into effect in September.

    April 14, 2014

  • W.Va. grower promotes unmodified feed corn

    Lyle Tabb is hoping that his non-genetically modified corn will take off with farmers who can charge top dollar for “all natural” eggs.
    Genetically modified or GMO corn has greatly simplified the process of getting rid of weeds, but has also substantially increased the amount of a chemical call glyphosate.

    April 13, 2014

  • Geologists link small quakes to fracking

    Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation’s strictest.
    A state investigation of five small tremors last month in the Youngstown area, in the Appalachian foothills, found the injection of sand and water that accompanies hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Utica shale may have increased pressure on a small, unknown fault, said State Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers. He called the link “probable.”

    April 12, 2014

  • Phares looks forward to retirement

    James Phares looked forward to the challenge and opportunity to help make a difference in a state education system under fire when he was hired in late 2012 as West Virginia’s schools superintendent.
    After 18 months, Phares will be stepping down on June 30 — which he said was set long ago as the day at age 61 that he’d walk with his wife into retirement.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teacher planning, abortion ban among W.Va. vetoes

    Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed about 200 bills and nixed eight this year, leaving teachers and abortion opponents unsatisfied.

    April 7, 2014

  • Spill company president ‘bears no fault’

    The president of Freedom Industries “bears no fault” for a West Virginia chemical spill that spurred a water-use ban for up to 10 days for 300,000 people, his lawyer says in a court filing.
    On Friday, Freedom President Gary Southern withdrew his application to get paid for work he already did during the company’s bankruptcy proceedings. He also wanted Freedom and its insurance to cover his legal fees related to the Jan. 9 spill.

    April 5, 2014

  • Agencies to ask West Virginia residents about chemical spill

    Health agencies are making thousands of phone calls and going door-to-door to ask West Virginians how a January chemical spill affected them.
    The state Bureau for Public Health announced Thursday that volunteers will survey randomly selected households in nine counties about health concerns from the spill.

    April 5, 2014

  • Hearing scheduled on police shooting suit dispute

    The family of a Virginia man who was shot and killed by Martinsburg police officers after a scuffle is asking a judge to order the city to give them investigative and autopsy reports from the incident.
    The estate of 50-year-old Wayne Arnold Jones of Stephens City, Va., filed a $200 million federal lawsuit against the city after he was killed on March 13, 2013.

    April 4, 2014

  • Families remember mine disaster victims

    Four years after losing friends and relatives in a West Virginia mine disaster, 11 people preferred to watch a film together that they knew would reopen those wounds.
    The film, “Upper Big Branch - Never Again,” by former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship theorized that his old company wasn’t at fault for the deadly explosion, despite four investigations that concluded otherwise.

    April 3, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads