By Rachel Dove
MATEWAN - A confrontation between a victim of a theft and an individual linked to the theft took a violent turn after shots were reportedly fired.
According to the criminal complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Trooper J.K. Harris, he was dispatched to the home of Harold May, who had reported the theft of an Apple iPod from his residence. The victim alleged that Violet Estep was present at his Lynn Bottom home when the theft occurred and believed she was responsible for the crime.
May said that, the day after the theft occurred, he and Misty Edwards walked to the home of Anthony Malek Scales, where Estep was residing. The victim also told police that Scales had stolen a Kindle Fire from his residence approximately three months prior to the theft of the iPod.
According to the complaint, May told the trooper that upon arriving at the Scales residence, the two men became involved in a verbal altercation. The victim turned to walk back in the direction of his home with the intention of calling the police when he claims that Scales retrieved a handgun from within the home, pointed the gun at May and Edwards and fired the weapon, Harris stated in his report. The defendant allegedly fired three rounds in their direction.
Trooper Harris and Sgt J. Dotson arrived at the residence of the accused and made contact with both Scales and Estep. When questioned about the alleged crimes, Scales denied the theft of the Kindle Fire and the iPod, according to the troopers. He admitted owning a .22-caliber revolver, but denied firing it at the victims, the report states. Scales then consented to a search of the premises.
Scales told investigators that the revolver in question was in the back bedroom behind the television set. The gun was not found in that location, however the officers did find a Kindle Fire, according to the complaint. When questioned about the discovery, Scales told police he had traded May 50 prescription pills for the item, the report said. The search resumed and the handgun was found, police said. After being examined, it was determined to have been fired recently, the troopers said. Scales then recanted his statement about not firing the gun and admitted shooting to scare May and Edwards away from his home, the complaint states. Investigation also revealed that the firing of the weapon occurred within 500 feet of a dwelling.
Scales was taken into custody and was charged with brandishing and shooting within 500 feet of a residence. He was arraigned before Mingo County Magistrate Pam Newsome and was released from custody after posting a $4,000 bond.