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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Retired officer charged in wounding
Woman injured in alleged shooting

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

James Scott Witherow II, a retired investigator with the Martinsville Police Department, has been charged in the shooting of his wife, Marleen S. Carter, on Sunday.

That’s according to a news release by the Virginia State Police and a report at the police department.

Witherow, 70, of 701 Corn Tassel Trail, Martinsville, was arrested at 8:30 p.m. Sunday on charges of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, both felonies, according to a report at the police department.

Witherow was being held on a $5,000 secured bond in the Martinsville Jail, the release added.

Carter was airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for undisclosed injuries, the state police news release said.

Eric Earnhart, a spokesman for the hospital, said Monday night that he had no information on Carter’s condition.

The shooting happened about 2:25 p.m. Sunday at the residence at 701 Corn Tassel Trail, according to the city police report.

Martinsville Police Chief Mike Rogers requested the assistance of the state police at about 3:02 p.m. Sunday, the state police release said. Rogers said Sunday that he asked that the investigation be handled by the state police because the suspect is a former employee of the city police department.

Several agents from the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation responded to the Avalon Apartments complex in Martinsville, the site of the shooting, and are conducting a criminal investigation into the incident, the release stated.

David Grimes, Pittsylvania County commonwealth’s attorney, has been asked to serve as special prosecutor for the investigation, and further inquiries should be directed to him, the release stated.

Grimes declined to comment beyond what was in the news release Monday.

Rogers also declined to comment except to say that Witherow was hired by the police department Sept. 1, 1971, resigned April 9, 1973, was rehired Nov. 1, 1973, and retired on May 31, 1998. According to Rogers and a 1998 Bulletin article, Witherow worked for the police department for about 10 years in uniform and 16 in the investigative division.

Rogers said of Carter, “I’m thankful that she is still alive, and I’m hoping she will make a full recovery.”


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