Man held at gunpoint charged with burglary

PARKERSBURG — A man was charged with burglary Saturday after being held at gunpoint by a resident of the house he’d entered.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Wood County Magistrate Court, Parkersburg Police responded to a burglary report in the 1000 block of Laird Avenue around 5:20 a.m. Saturday. A woman who lived there told an officer her daughter was holding an unknown man at gunpoint in a room upstairs.

The officer found the younger woman in an upstairs bedroom, pointing a single-shot, 20-gauge shotgun at a closet, the complaint says. Troy Justin Mowery, 27, homeless, was found inside, covered with miscellaneous clothing items, it says.

“He had already exchanged some of his clothes for clothing he found in the house,” Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said.

Mowery was arrested on a burglary charge. Following his arraignment in Magistrate Court, he was taken to the North Central Regional Jail, where he is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Martin said it was not clear why Mowery entered the residence.

Martin said homeowners with firearms should be familiar with West Virginia’s so-called castle doctrine, which states in part that a lawful occupant is justified in using “reasonable and proportionate force, including deadly force,” against an intruder or attacker if the resident reasonably believes the intruder may kill or injure someone inside or otherwise intends to commit a felony.

“They’re (putting) their own life at risk if they meet the wrong homeowner,” he said.

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