Child helps deputies make arrests in shooting incident


A couple is facing charges after allegedly shooting another woman in front of a child. It happened at around 1 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2016.  Deputies from Fayette County were called to the Scarbro area in response to a possible shooting.  They found two adults and a young child.  Investigators said the adults were very reluctant to provide information.

“Our best initial information in this case actually came from the child involved in this incident,” said Sheriff-Elect Mike Fridley.  

Deputies were initially unable to find the victim in the incident, who is a 40-year-old woman from Oak Hill.  That is until she checked herself into a local hospital for treatment. The gunshot wound is described as “relatively minor.”  Her name has not been released.

Law enforcement officers contacted Child Protective Services as a result of the initial investigation, but the couple had already left the area with the child.  At around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, the couple was located and arrested.

James Layton Wriston, 38, and Hillery Monique Wriston, 37, both of Scarbro, WV were arrested.  They are each facing charges of Gross Child Neglect Crating the Risk of Injury.  James Wriston is also charged with Wanton Endangerment with a Firearm, Malicious Wounding and Shooting Across a Road or Alley.

“The information developed during this preliminary investigation indicates that this incident stemmed from a drug deal gone bad,” stated Sheriff-Elect Fridley. “The couple allegedly not only took their minor child along with them during this drug deal, but then further endangered this child when they robbed or attempted  to rob the victim and then shot her.”

The Wristons were arraigned in Fayette County Magistrate Court.  No bond has been set. 

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