EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSISSONVILLE SHOOTING
from Eyewitness News Online
Sissonville Murder Suspect Had Previous Shooting Charge Dismissed
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Troy Morgan/Kristin Keeling
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Also Contributing: Kristin Keeling
Reported: Sep. 26, 2012 2:40 AM EDT
Updated: Sep. 26, 2012 10:45 PM EDT
Sissonville , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A Wednesday morning murder in Sissonville is still shrouded in mystery.
By all accounts, neighbors said the victim and the suspect were friends. Now, police are left piecing together a murder investigation.
"Dale's just a wonderful neighbor. I'm just really shocked," explained Kathy Morris. She lives just next door to the Sissonville Drive home turned crime scene.
She says around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dale Newhouse came knocking on her door. Little did she know, a man had just been shot.
"I knew they were friends, you know, and I was really just stunned. You know, it just really tore me up," she said.
Kanawha County deputies say the victim, James Shaffer, 41, called 911 and said he'd been shot by Newhouse. He told dispatchers Newhouse was standing over him with a 9 mm handgun.
Shaffer was taken to the hospital but died shortly after he got there, according to the criminal complaint.
"I think he was needing a place to stay and I think he was staying there off and on," Morris said, referring to Shaffer.
Deputies say Newhouse stayed at the scene after the 911 call, and appeared to wait for law enforcement. Now, he's charged with first degree murder.
"And you understand if you're convicted of that offense, that's life. Right?" asked Kanawha Magistrate Ward Harhshbarger during Newsome's video arraignment.
"Yes, sir," he answered.
Court records show in 2008, Newhouse was charged with malicious wounding after a woman claimed he shot her in the chest after she refused to have sex with him. That charge was dismissed in 2010, according to a circuit clerk.
The victim, also had a criminal past. According to court records, Shaffer was convicted in 1998 of first degree sexual abuse against a teenage relative in Fayette County. At one point, he was charged with failure to register as a sex offender, but that charge was dismissed in 2011, according to records.
Neighbors say regardless of their pasts, they're in disbelief and wonder what could have happened before that fatal shot was fired.
"I don't know if it was self-defense. I don't know if they got into an argument. I don't know what caused it to happen. It was just so fast," said Morris.
Deputies have not elaborated on a motive. Newhouse is lodged in the South Central Regional Jail with no bond set.
Kanawha County sheriff’s deputies are investigating an early morning shooting that left one man dead and another man in custody Wednesday.
Dale Thomas Newhouse is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Jamie Shaffer.
A criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court states Shaffer called 911 and said he had been shot by Newhouse. The complaint said Shaffer told dispatchers Newhouse was standing over him with a gun.
Shaffer was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center, where he later died from a gunshot wound.
The shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. at 3834 Sissonville Drive.
Newhouse is in South Central Regional Jail awaiting arraignment.
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