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July 28, 2011

Fatal shooting in Lily

Death of woman under investigation

CORBIN — By Carl Keith Greene / Staff Writer

The Laurel County Sheriff is investigating the death of Bernice Champlin, 74, on Queen Road in Lily.

The sheriff’s office got the word of a possible shooting at about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Deputy Gilbert Acciardo reported that “the manner of death is not known, but the first call (to the dispatch center) was that there had been a shooting at this location.”

Her grandson Jeremy Owens, 32, is a person of interest in the shooting, according to Acciardo and had been taken to the sheriff’s office.

His brother, Josh Owens, was also taken as a possible witness, said Acciardo.

Josh lives in Indiana and had come down to visit with Jeremy, said neighbor David Rains.

Rains called Mrs. Champlin, “a good woman. She was alright. She told you what was on her mind.”

Her husband, Obie, had worked for UPS and had died about a year ago.

Rains said Jeremy Owens had shot himself in the head several years ago and had survived.

Acciardo reported that the sheriff’s department got word that there was a shooting and someone was possibly shot. The call reported that the suspect was probably still in the house.

“When we rolled up, of course we rolled up a good distance from the house and tried to yell at him to get him out of the house and we couldn’t. Some relatives came up and said, ‘You can probably get him at this number.’ We dialed the number and got the suspect and John (Sheriff John Root) talked to him maybe five or 10 minutes and he came out and stood next to that love seat and officers converged on him and took him into custody without much resistance.”

The scene of the incident was cleared at about 7:50 p.m.

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The soft whistle of a flute floated through the room as audience members listened in awe to tales of the Thunderbolt people. “This land that you’re now sitting on was that of Thunderbolt people,” said Thunderbolt descendant David Owens. Owens and Indian flute player Robert Mullinax stopped at the Laurel County Library Friday night to entertain with spoken legends, folk lore and tales of the bygone Thunderbolts. Audiences were captivated by stories passed down from the Thunderbolt of how things came to be. Tales about fire, pipes and Kentucky — just to name a few — were shared by Ownes over the course of an hour with Mullinax playing behind him.

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