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Hog Run Road man charged in shooting

An apparent domestic dispute led to the shooting death of a 20-year-old Lawrence County woman early Friday, police say.

Monday, August 27, 2001

An apparent domestic dispute led to the shooting death of a 20-year-old Lawrence County woman early Friday, police say.

Jeff Holton, 22, of 2340 County Road 181 (Hog Run Road), faces murder charges related to the shooting of his girlfriend, Misty Malone, 20, Sheriff Tim Sexton said.

Three sheriff’s department deputies responded to a 5:17 a.m. phone call from a neighbor who heard shots near Holton’s residence, Sexton said.

"As far as we can tell, one shot was fired and it appears to be domestic," the sheriff said. "It’s my understanding they had been together for several years."

Officers were on scene by 5:24 a.m., and Southeast Ohio Emergency Medical Service transported the victim to King’s Daughters Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Sexton said Malone suffered one gunshot wound to the chest.

The sheriff, chief deputy and detectives also responded just after the incident, as officials began collecting evidence and seeking witnesses.

On Friday evening around 5 p.m., detectives recovered a .357-caliber handgun believed to be the one used during the shooting, which occurred outside the couple’s Hog Run Road home. The weapon was found in a wooded area about 30 yards behind the home, the sheriff said.

"It is our belief (the weapon) was obviously thrown there," Sexton said.

Detectives were also questioning Holton and witnesses who might have heard what happened, Sexton said.

Although the investigation remains in the preliminary stages, Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr.’s office has been contacted and murder charges will be pursued, Sexton said.

Holton, who is being held in the Lawrence County Jail without bond, is expected to be arraigned in municipal court on Monday, Sexton said.

An autopsy of Malone’s body was conducted by the Franklin County Coroner’s Office. The sheriff said the autopsy confirmed that the victim was shot just once.

Anyone with information about the incident may contact the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department at 740-532-3525.