MILLERSBURG, Ohio (AP) — A 10-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with murder in the fatal shooting of his mother after authorities said he told a neighbor about the killing.
The boy appeared Monday in
a Holmes County courtroom with his attorney, who entered the juvenile
equivalent of a not guilty plea. A judge ordered that the boy remain in
Richland County Juvenile Detention as authorities investigate the
Deborah McVay, 46, was found dead of a single gunshot
wound to the head Sunday night in Big Prairie, located about midway
between Cleveland and Columbus, Holmes County Sheriff Tim Zimmerly
said. Paramedics found McVay lying facedown on her living room floor,
and she was pronounced dead at the scene, Zimmerly said.
went to the house, in rolling farmland, after a neighbor called a
sheriff's dispatcher to say McVay's son had come to her home and said
he had just shot his mother.
Another neighbor who knew the boy
said the allegations were shocking. Ron Martin, 43, said the boy
occasionally visited Martin's family to swim in its pool.
wasn't a bad kid, but he has had some problems in the school," Martin
said. "Never anything that you would have dreamed that he would go out
and shoot his mother."
County Prosecutor Steve Knowling said
authorities do not plan to prosecute the boy as an adult. Defense
attorney Andrew Hyde said he plans to argue for the boy's release so he
can stay with a family member.
Hyde said he did not have the
facts of the case, including any information on whether the shooting
may have been accidental, and couldn't comment further.
McVay's home on Monday, another son, 21-year-old Josh Mike, described
her as "a very loving lady" who ran her own home health care business
and served the mentally disabled. He would not comment on the
allegations against his brother.
The sheriff said McVay has a
15-year-old daughter who is staying with relatives. It is unclear
whether she witnessed the shooting. It's also unclear whether McVay is
From the bottom of the driveway, the hilltop house
appeared to be a mobile home next to a multi-car garage, but neighbor
Martin said the garage had been converted to a living space. He said he
had not heard any gunshots but that it would not have been unusual in
the area, where hunters often practice.
Knowling said that in more than two decades working in the legal system in the county, he has not seen a similar case.
"We don't have homicides here, period," he said. "I've got nothing to compare it to."
McVay's body was transported to the Stark County Coroner's office for an autopsy. Results were expected on Tuesday.
Associated Press Writer Meghan Barr contributed to this report from Cleveland.