BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man who allegedly pulled out a gun during an argument with his wife and then accidentally shot himself in the leg was arrested Tuesday for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
Bobby J. Winnings, 56, of Buckhannon, was arrested April 19 on four charges, including one felony, being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, and three misdemeanors: driving under the influence of an impairing substance and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
The original incident involving the alleged self-inflicted gunshot to the leg took place Feb. 1, 2022, at a residence on Wags Lane; however, when Upshur County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene, Winnings was no longer present, and officers were unable to locate the weapon involved. He was arrested Tuesday after police conducted a traffic stop on his vehicle for no MVI sticker and he allegedly failed several sobriety tests.
According to the initial criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by deputy T.R. Collins with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, on Feb. 1, 2022, the sheriff’s office received a call from the E911 Upshur Communication Center regarding a gunshot wound. The Comm Center said a man from Wags Lane had shot himself in the leg.
Collins then called the woman who had contacted the Comm Center to ask her about the incident. She told police she and Winnings had been arguing when Winnings took a gun out and accidentally shot himself in the leg, according to the report. She said Winnings walked outside with the gun and came back without it, telling her he had tossed the gun.
When Collins went to Wags Lane, the woman informed him she and Winnings had been arguing “about him wanting a divorce,” the file states. The report says the two were arguing near the front door when he pulled out a black gun, about the size of the palm of his hand, and accidentally shot himself in the upper thigh. The woman told officers the weapon appeared to be a .22-caliber firearm. Sgt. Theron Caynor, who was assisting Collins, noticed blood on the floor and wall behind the front door, according to the report. While outside, Collins also noticed multiple blood drops in the snow, going up and down the road.
The deputies searched for Winnings and the firearm but were unable to locate them. The report says Winnings was not permitted to own a firearm because he had been convicted of delivery of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, both felonies, on April 20, 2006.
Then, on Tuesday, April 19, Winnings was arrested after Collins spotted a Toyota Tundra driving without displaying a Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker on Route 20 near the railroad tracks in downtown Buckhannon. Collins activated his blue lights and pulled the Tundra over in the Fast Stop Mart parking lot.
Collins administered several field sobriety tests after detecting the odor of alcohol on Winnings; Winnings also allegedly confessed that he had smoked marijuana about 18-20 hours prior to being pulled over, the complaint states.
Collins noted Winnings had bloodshot, glassy eyes; appeared overly talkative; displayed constricted pupils; and had a raspy voice.
During the field sobriety test, Winnings allegedly showed several signs of impairment, including missing his nose multiple times on the finger-to-nose test. The criminal complaint notes his preliminary blood alcohol roadside reading registered a .017, and that during the search of the vehicle, Collins found “multiple roaches” in an ashtray and a zipper case that allegedly contained what Winnings referred to as “shrooms” and a red, plastic bag holding marijuana, the file says.
Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder set bail at $17,500 cash or surety.
The potential penalty for a conviction of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm is confinement in the state penitentiary for not more than five years or a fine of up to $5,000.