Gun Control

Gun Check Failed in Sheriff Slaying Case

Even though suspect was barred from owning weapons, he passed background check

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The man accused of killing a West Virginia sheriff wasn't allowed to possess a firearm but was still able to buy a gun from a local dealer, even though the dealer ran the required background check, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks said a breakdown in the reporting system enabled Tennis Melvin Maynard to purchase the gun used to kill Sheriff Eugene Crum on April 3 as the lawman ate lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot.

"It appears the local dealer did what was legally required under the law," Sparks said. "The breakdown happened somewhere else. There was a delay in the reporting of the necessary information. Really, an inexcusable delay."