10-Year-Old Boy Held in Mother's Shooting Death

MILLERSBURG, Ohio - A 10-year-old boy was charged as a juvenile with murder in the fatal shooting of his mother after authorities said he told a neighbor about the killing.

The boy appeared Monday in court with his attorney, who entered the juvenile equivalent of a not guilty plea. A judge ordered that the boy remain in Richland County Juvenile Detention as authorities investigate the shooting.

Deborah McVay, 46, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head Sunday night in Big Prairie, located about midway between Cleveland and Columbus, said Holmes County Sheriff Tim Zimmerly. Paramedics found McVay lying facedown on her living room floor, and she was pronounced dead at the scene, Zimmerly said.

Authorities went to the home after a neighbor called a sheriff's dispatcher to say McVay's son had come to her home and said he had just shot his mother.

County Prosecutor Steve Knowling said authorities do not plan to prosecute the boy as an adult. Defense attorney Andrew Hyde said he plans to argue for the boy's release so he can stay with a family member.

Hyde said he did not have the facts of the case, including any information on whether the shooting may be accidental, and couldn't comment further.

Knowling said that in more than two decades working in the legal system in the county, he has not seen a similar case.

"We don't have homicides here, period," he said. "I've got nothing to compare it to."

McVay's body was transported to the coroner's office for an autopsy. The sheriff said McVay's 15-year-old daughter is currently staying with relatives. It is unclear whether she witnessed the shooting.

It's unclear whether McVay is married.

A woman who answered the phone at McVay's home said she had no comment and hung up.
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