BROWNSTOWN, Ind. (AP) -- A 20-year-old southern Indiana man faces murder charges for the shooting death of his father during a confrontation over the younger man's abuse of his mother's dog.
A Jackson County judge on Wednesday ordered John A. Shoultz III to be held without bail on charges of murder and unlawful firearm possession by a serious violent felon. Authorities say Shoultz fatally shot his 48-year-old father, John Shoultz Jr., Saturday night at their home in Crothersville.
Police said the shooting happened after the elder Shoultz entered his son's bedroom to confront him about wrapping duct tape around the legs of his mother's Chihuahua.
The younger Shoultz said he fired a warning shot from a handgun into the ceiling, then fired three more shots in self defense when his father didn't stop advancing toward him carrying the dog and a razor, according to a police report.
An autopsy found that Shoultz was shot twice in the chest and once each in the lower left abdomen and right hand.
The younger Shoultz spoke only once during Wednesday's court hearing, saying "Yes, sir" when the judge asked whether he understood the charges against him.
Police say the younger Shoultz told investigators that he killed the previous family dog, a beagle, by slitting its throat because there had been fights over it. He told them that he reached for the gun before his father entered the bedroom because he could hear that he was angry about the taping of the Chihuahua.
He also told officer he felt he and his girlfriend were just a couple of kids "goofing off," and his mom got his dad "all riled up."
His 19-year-old girlfriend, who was in the room during the shooting, faces a charge of assisting a criminal for hiding the gun.
Prosecutors say the unlawful possession charge is based on a 2006 incident where Shoultz pleaded guilty to attacking his father with a razor. Shoultz had been in jail on a charge of illegal handgun possession until March 19, when he was able to post bond.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)