Alleged shooter bought gun despite background check
PAMELA SCOTT JOHNSON Staff Writer
WILLIAMSON — C. Michael Sparks, Prosecuting Attorney for Mingo County, has released information that the gunman accused of killing Sheriff Eugene Crum after being in office for approximately three short months wasn’t allowed to possess a firearm, but said the defendant was still able to buy a gun from a local dealer, even though the dealer ran the required background check.
“A breakdown in the reporting system enabled Tennis Melvin Maynard, of Ragland, to purchase a handgun,” stated Sparks. “This is an inexcusable delay.”
While Sparks wouldn’t elaborate on why Maynard was barred from owning a gun or which business the gun was purchased from, Maynard’s father has went on record saying that his son had mental problems and had previously been institutionalized. A family member who spoke with the Daily News on Wednesday who asked to not be identified in the media said that several mental hygiene warrants had been taken out against Maynard when he experienced mental breakdowns that allegedly included episodes of explosive tempers, but due to HIPPA violations, this information has yet to be verified.
Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness.
Maynard is accusing of shooting Sheriff Eugene Crum on April 3 in a downtown Williamson parking lot located at the corner of Harvey Street and 3rd Avenue while eating lunch in his official vehicle. The accused murderer is, according to law officials, expected to make a full recovery from gunshot wounds he sustained after crashing into a bridge in Delbarton during a police pursuit, in which he was shot after pulling a gun on the deputy. The murder weapon is said to have been a .40 caliber compact Glock handgun.
Maynard faces charges of first degree murder in the death of Sheriff Crum and attempted murder of a deputy. At present time, the defendant remains a patient in the Cabell Huntington Hospital.
(This article was contributed to by the Associated Press)
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