August 1, 2011

Elderly woman shot by grandson

County’s first murder of 2011

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — An elderly woman is dead and her grandson is accused of her murder following a domestic dispute in southern Laurel County on Wednesday afternoon.

The alleged murderer, 32-year-old Jeremy Owens, was arrested after police arrived at a residence on Queen Road in Lily just before 5 p.m. Wednesday. According to Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy and Public Affairs Officer Gilbert Acciardo, the Laurel Dispatch received a call of a domestic dispute at the residence around 4:45 p.m. As police were en route, another call came that a shooting had taken place.

When Deputies Milton Storm and Shawn Boroviak arrived at the scene, they received information from Josh Owens, brother of the suspect, that the alleged shooter, Jeremy Owens, was still inside the residence. Josh Owens stated his brother was still armed.

According to the press release, Jeremy Owens had an argument with his grandmother, which led to a physical confrontation.

Bernice Champlin, 74 of Queen Road, was found in the hallway of her home.  She had been stabbed and shot.  

Champlin was pronounced dead at the scene by the Laurel County Coroner’s Office.  Autopsy results are pending.

 Police gathered cautiously along Slate Ridge Road as Sheriff John Root tried to talk the shooter outside.

“Some of the family came up and gave us a phone number and said he (Jeremy Owens) might be reached by phone,” Acciardo said. “The Sheriff called that number and he answered. The Sheriff talked to him about five or 10 minutes and convinced him to come out.”

Sheriff’s deputies converged on the area and quickly took the man into custody. Both a pistol and knife were recovered at the scene.

Jeremy Owens was charged with murder and was taken to the Laurel County Detention Center.

Assisting at the scene were Sheriff’s Deputies Milton Storm and Shawn Boroviak, Sgt. Greg Poynter, Sheriff John Root, Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, Det. Rodney Van Zant, Det. Daryl Zanet, and Chief Deputy Eddy Sizemore. Also on the scene were troopers with the Kentucky State Police, Post 11 and the Lily Volunteer Fire Department.