The Mingo County Grand Jury returned an indcitment against a Gilbert man resulting from a charge of first-degree murder as it sat in session on Sept. 19.
The grand jury also returned 31 other indictments during its session (see related article).
Heath Allen Rose, 50, was charged with the shooting death of Joda Browning of Ben Creek on Feb. 17. According to court information obtained on Sept. 21, Rose is a resident of Gilbert; however, according to documents provided at the time of the shooting, his address was listed as Elk Creek Road in Logan County.
According to the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department, a verbal altercation between Browning, 58, and Rose began around 7:30 a. m. on Feb. 17 at the Creekwood Apartments in Newtown.
The situation escalated with Browning allegedly shoving Rose, officials with the sheriff’s department said. Rose is alleged to have gone to his vehicle and returned to the scene with a 9mm pistol.
At that point, Chief Deputy Allen Mounts said, Browning got into a vehicle with Brittany Kennedy and her 8-year-old daughter, who was seated in the back. As the vehicle began leaving the parking area, Rose stepped in front of the car in an attempt to stop it from leaving.
While the vehicle attempted to maneuver around Rose, Mounts said, Rose allegedly stuck the pistol through a window and shot Browning in the mouth area. Mounts said Browning managed to exit the vehicle but ultimately collapsed and died from his wound.
Mounts said the incident apparently began over an argument involving Kennedy.
“Brittany Kennedy was dating Rose and she had stopped to pick up Browning to fix a tire for her and it all apparently ensued from that,” Mounts said.
Rose surrendered to Sgt. Norman Mines and he was taken into custody without incident, Mounts said.
Rose was also charged with two counts of wanton endangerment;
Rose remains in custody at the Southwestern Regional Jail with no bond set.
Editor’s note: An indictment is only a charge against an individual and does not carry any weight of guilt. A person is presumed not guilty until when and if they are convicted in a court of law or enters a plea of guilty at any point during the trial process.