DELBARTON - An altercation that occurred among several adults and two juveniles ended with the accidental shooting of a 12 year-old and a father behind bars.
Acie Dwayne Copley, 37, of Delbarton, was placed under arrest by West Virginia State Police Senior Trooper C.A. Douglas on charges of child neglect resulting in injury and wanton endangerment, after buckshot from a shotgun shell that the defendant fired into the ground struck his 12 year-old son in the leg.
Douglas stated in his arrest report that he was dispatched to investigate a fight complaint at the Ruby Energy Mines in Delbarton. The trooper learned that the defendant and three other adults, along with Copley’s two juvenile sons (ages 12 and 15), had been involved in a physical altercation, the report stated. It was discovered that during some point in the altercation, the defendant retrieved a 12 gauge shotgun and fired one shot into the ground in close proximity to where his 12 year-old was standing, according to the report. Buckshot that scattered from the shell struck the child in the leg, the report stated.
The juvenile was taken by family members to Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital, where it was confirmed by physicians that the injury was a direct result of being struck by buckshot, which was still lodged in the leg, the report states. The trooper said he interviewed several individuals who claimed to have witnessed the incident and corroborated the story with each of them.
Copley was found to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the time the shooting occurred, troopers said. He was observed to have slurred speech, an unsteady gait and was unable to properly answer questions or comprehend instructions provided to him, troopers said. A warrant was obtained for a blood sample from the defendant to be used for a drug toxicology screen and those specimens were sent to the state police Forensic Laboratory for analysis.
Copley was arraigned by Mingo County Special Magistrate Kim Blair and was taken to the Southwestern Regional Jail, where he remains behind bars on a $100,000 bond.