Dad: Suspect in W.Va. sheriff's slaying had mental problems
WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — The man suspected of killing a West Virginia sheriff as he ate lunch in his car was mentally disturbed and had no particular vendetta against law enforcement, his father said on Thursday.
Melvin Maynard said his 37-year-old son, Tennis Melvin Maynard, was exposed to harmful chemicals and injured while working at an Alabama coal mine. He most likely did not target Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum, he said.
“He would have probably shot anybody, the first one he come to. You know what I'm saying?” the elder Maynard said.
“I know he was off. I know he should have been in a hospital,” the father said, adding that his son had previously been in an institution. He refused to elaborate, saying only that “the same problem was eating him again.”
Witnesses told police that Maynard was alone when he shot Crum, and investigators still have not determined why he shot the sheriff, said Dave Rockel, the Mingo County Drug Task Force commander and Williamson police chief.
Crum had been in office for just three months before he was killed on Wednesday afternoon, making good on a campaign pledge to help rid the state's southern coalfields of the illegal prescription drug trade blamed for thousands of addictions and overdoses.
Friends say Crum was shot to death in the spot where he parked most days, keeping an eye on a place that had been shut down for illegally dispensing prescription drugs to be sure it did not reopen.
Tennis Maynard was shot and wounded by a Mingo deputy in a chase after the 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 fired in self-defense.
State police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said Tennis Maynard is expected to survive and remained in Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nurse defies Maine quarantine in standoff over Ebola
- Unaccompanied immigrants put heavy strain on schools, charities
- Few knew of cyber attack on White House computer network
- Democratic areas flush with transportation grants
- D.C. closer to legalizing sale of pot
- Inmate freed in landmark case
- Terminally ill woman may delay planned Nov. 1 suicide
- Wash. shooting survivor has jaw surgery
- Botched probe of suspected arms dealer echoed Fast and Furious, watchdog finds
- Museum saves part of bomber plant
- Gray wolf sighting reported at Grand Canyon