18 November 2010
Charges dismissed in Sept. shooting that injured man

BY CHASE PURDY
The News Virginian

STAUNTON -- Tears welled in their eyes after the ruling Wednesday as the teenage boy rested his forehead against his mother’s.

The 15-year-old acted in self defense on the September night when he fired pistol blasts at his mother’s boyfriend, Augusta County Judge Charles L. Ricketts III found. She testified that she handed her son the weapon and instructed him not to let the man inside.

Gary Wayne Ralston, 54, of Waynesboro, was critically wounded in the shooting outside the home where the boy and his siblings and mother live just north of town. Ralston survived.

Authorities charged the teenager with malicious wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

But after three hours of emotional testimony, Ricketts said, “I’ve got to go with the evidence, and it has to be from the eyes of the defendant.”

...

Standing alone in the dark, the boy listened to the “quick steps” of Ralston making his way along the gravel drive toward the front porch.

Inside, the mother pleaded with police dispatchers to send help.

“He’s crossed over my gate! He’s coming here to kill me! Come quickly!” she said.


Read the rest of the story at The News Virginian.

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