October shooting ruled self-defense

Published 3:53 pm Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Carrollton man will not be tried for murder in an October shooting after the Commonwealth’s Attorney ruled he shot in self-defense.

Chad Andrew Kinney shot and killed Glen Bauwens, and shot and wounded Dennis Bailey, at a cemetery in Eclipse the night of Oct. 17. In a letter to Suffolk Chief of Police Thomas Bennett, Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson said his office “will not proceed with a criminal prosecution in this matter.”

“This office has reviewed all the facts and the pertinent law in the above styled case. As a result of that review, we have determined that this case is one of self defense both factually and legally.”

An investigation into the case revealed “Kinney reasonably feared he was at risk of imminent death or severe injury,” according to the letter. “His actions were those of a frightened, meek individual who had not created this situation and he was powerless to diffuse the incident.”

Kinney was fully cooperative with police at the scene and with the investigation that ensued, the letter said, and the evidence at the scene supports his side of the story. An autopsy and medical investigation revealed both men who were shot were intoxicated at the time.

About 9:07 p.m. on Oct. 17, the Suffolk 911 center received several calls about the shooting. The first came from Kinney, who “was hysterical and said he had been shot and that he had shot someone,” according to the letter. He told the 911 operator where the incident took place and said he had placed his gun behind a tree. He offered to make contact with arriving officers, but was warned not to approach them.

Kinney then walked to the home of a neighbor and told her what happened. The neighbor also called 911, and Kinney could be heard in the background pleading for help.

Officers arriving found Kinney on his knees screaming, and found Bailey and Bauwens on the ground. Bauwens later died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen in the back of an ambulance. Bailey was released from the hospital several days later.

The evidence and Kinney’s testimony revealed Kinney shot both men with a .40 caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun, for which he had a valid Virginia concealed weapon permit.

Kinney told Suffolk Police he saw a large truck driving erratically on Bridge Road while he was on his way to his stepfather’s house. The two vehicles turned onto Eclipse Drive, with Kinney behind the truck. The truck had its turn signal on, and Kinney went around the truck because he believed it was getting ready to turn off Eclipse Drive.

At that time, the truck began pursuing Kinney, and Kinney believed he had made the driver angry, according to the letter. Kinney then pulled into the cemetery to allow the truck to pass, and was going to leave the area after it left.

However, the truck pulled in behind Kinney, completely blocking the cemetery driveway, according to the letter. Bailey and Bauwens got out of the truck and approached Kinney’s car, one on either side, yelling and cursing. Bauwens was under the influence of both alcohol and cocaine, according to an autopsy report, and Bailey was intoxicated.

Kinney then heard his driver’s side window “explode,” and believed it was from a gunshot. He shot Bauwens through his passenger side window and then shot Bailey through his broken driver’s window.

“Kinney said he would have liked to have backed his car away from the assailants, but that it happened so fast he did not have time to think about getting away,” the letter states.

This is the second case this year that a deadly shooting in Suffolk has been ruled self-defense. On June 21, Whaleyville convenience store owner James Durden Jr. was awakened by an alarm system telling him there was motion inside his nearby store. He went to the store and fired four shots through a window, killing Ernest Scott Roop, 38, because he believed Roop was reaching for a weapon. Police found a knife in a sheath near Roop’s body.

Ferguson said neither case was a matter of getting away with murder.

“You review the facts, and you make the determination based on the facts,” Ferguson said. “Some cases are homicide, and some under the law are deemed not to be. Each case rises or falls on its own set of facts.”

Ferguson said the evidence is clear in the Eclipse case, and that all prosecutors and investigators in his office who worked on the case were unanimous in their belief that Kinney shot in self-defense.

“There was no doubt in any of our minds,” Ferguson said. “Sometimes things happen and it’s very unfortunate. That’s the way it is.”