Two men are being held on $500,000 bond for allegedly breaking into a home on a rural road outside West Jefferson and shooting a man inside with a sawed-off shotgun.
Stephen A. Souders, 35, of Galloway, and Justin W. Young, 24, of Columbus, attended their preliminary hearings in Madison County Municipal Court Tuesday afternoon.
The two men are currently charged with second-degree felony burglary, but those charges could change as the cases are bound over to Madison County Common Pleas Court and presented to a grand jury.
At least one of the alleged burglars knew the property owner, who was not home at the time of the incident, Sgt. Chris Carter of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said.
At roughly 2 p.m. on Dec. 12, Madison County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from an off-duty deputy about two “suspicious people” running from a home on Wilson Road Southeast in rural West Jefferson and leaving in a van parked on the side of the property, according to law enforcement reports.
Responding deputies found a window in the home “busted out.” After using a crowbar to get inside, they found an 84-year-old man, later identified as the father of the homeowner, who had been shot in the right shoulder. Medics from Jefferson Township transported the man to Grant Medical Center for treatment, according to the sheriff’s report.
The victim was still in the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, Carter confirmed.
West Jefferson police officers stopped the van just inside the Franklin County line, according to the report. Officers found only a small amount of drug paraphernalia.
Burglary charges against two women in the van, driver Linsey L. Fulkerson, 27, of Columbus, and passenger Ashley Kay Nicole Hitchcock, 28, of Portsmouth, have been dismissed, but the investigation is ongoing, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nick Adkins said.
The prosecutor anticipates additional charges against Souders, he said Tuesday during the suspect’s hearing. These charges could include first-degree felony assault, first-degree felony aggravated burglary, discharging a weapon inside a home, improper handling of a firearm and possession of a sawed-off shotgun.
Madison County’s next grand jury is slated to meet in the second week in January.
Reach Audrey Ingram can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615 or via Twitter @Audrey.MP.