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Prelimary hearing rescheduled in murder case

RIPLEY — A Jackson County man who was recently arrested and charged with first-degree murder from an incident in June, had his preliminary hearing rescheduled in Jackson County Magistrate Court.

A preliminary hearing was originally scheduled Monday before Magistrate Jacqueline R. Casto for Christopher Leon Moore, 46, 3124 Dudden Fork Road, Kenna, W.Va.

Moore was arrested last week for the June 27 shooting death of Johnny Dowdy, 50, at Moore’s residence.

Court personnel said Moore stated he wanted to hire an attorney and the hearing was rescheduled to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22.

In the criminal complaint from magistrate court investigators said Moore told them he and Dowdy were tussling over a gun and it accidentally went off. The initial argument was over money Moore was going to lend Dowdy, the complaint stated.

Deputies observed a black male, identified as Dowdy, laying face down on a concrete sidewalk at the bottom of the front porch steps of the residence with his left foot hung up on the bottom of the handrail supports, according to the complaint.

Dowdy was found lying in a pool of blood with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the back of the head and a similar wound above his right ear near the hairline. A black handgun was found on the sidewalk nearby.

A 9 mm casing was found near Dowdy’s head and another casing was found 5 to 6 feet away, the criminal complaint said.

On Sept. 3, investigators were informed by the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner the bullet which killed Dowdy entered through the rear of the skull and exited through the front. The medical examiner also said the wound was not self-inflicted and Dowdy could not have been in control of the weapon at the time the fatal shot was fired.

Moore maintained Dowdy had a grip on the weapon as it was fired which was inconsistent with the medical examiner’s findings, the criminal complaint said.

Moore is currently being held without bond at the South Central Regional Jail.

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