Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 31, 2013

Man killed in Ohio shooting

Kenneth Hart
CNHI News Service

COAL GROVE — An Ohio man is dead and one of his relatives charged with murder following a shooting Tuesday evening in the Coal Grove area.

John A. McKnight, 48, of State Route 243, was pronounced dead at his residence by the Lawrence County Coroner’s Office. He died of a shotgun blast to the upper torso, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said.

According to Lawless, the sheriff’s department received a report of a domestic dispute at a residence in the 2900 block of State Route 243 about 6:30 p.m. When deputies arrived, they found McKnight’s body lying face down in the kitchen floor. Witnesses told the officers the shooter had left the scene.

Witnesses also told the deputies the shooting had stemmed from an argument between family members, all of whom lived in the home. The dispute escalated when one of the combatants, Rodney DeLawder, 33, assaulted another man, Larry J. McKnight, 46, Lawless said.

At some point during the fracas, DeLawder grabbed a shotgun and fired it, with the round hitting John McKnight, the sheriff said.

DeLawder left the home after the shooting and went to his mother’s home on Private Drive 2548. He was arrested there without incident, Lawless said.

DeLawder, whose relationship to the McKnights wasn’t immediately clear, was charged with first-degree murder and discharging a firearm into a habitation. He was lodged in the Lawrence County Jail. Additional charges could be forthcoming, he said.

Larry McKnight was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Ironton for treatment of injuries he suffered in the assault.

The shooting was the second this week in the Coal Grove area. On Sunday, Roger W. Crisp, 43, of Waterloo, killed himself with a .22-caliber handgun after shooting at his daughter’s residence on County Road 181 from his moving vehicle, then shooting at police with a high-powered rifle.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2654.