Skip to content

Shooting death: Arraignment scheduled for Thursday

Shooting death: Arraignment scheduled for Thursday

Posted: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 9:01 pm
By: Chris Menees Messenger Staff Reporter

 By CHRIS MENEES Staff Reporter An Obion County teen-ager is scheduled to make an initial appearance in juvenile court Thursday in connection with the fatal shooting of his father last Thursday night. Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder confirmed a juvenile petition was filed Monday in Obion County Juvenile Court to charge the 17-year-old boy with a delinquent act. The teenager’s name has not been released by authorities, who are restricted from releasing many details about the juvenile court proceedings due to statutes. However, The Messenger has confirmed the teen’s name through other outside sources. Clifford Putman is cur-rently scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Thursday in juvenile court, where the proceedings will be closed to the public. He is not currently in custody. The charges being pursued against the teenager stem from the shooting death of his father, 40-year-old Vernon Dale Putman Jr., about 11 p.m. Thursday at the family’s home at 1809 Wade Wiley Road, southwest of Union City. (See related obituary, Page 5.) Vastbinder reported Fri-day it appeared the incident started out as a family dis-pute between the elder Putman and his 17-year-old son. He said Putman allegedly became more irritated, picked up a rifle and had the teenager kneel down on the floor, at which time he allegedly pointed the gun at the boy. He did not fire, however, and allegedly then turned the weapon and pointed it at his wife of 20 years, Polly (Eakin) Putman. The gun reportedly misfired and Mrs. Putman apparently fled to the back of the residence. According to the sheriff, Putman allegedly got another gun, went outside and fired several rounds into a car. When he came back into the home, the 17-year-old allegedly shot Putman twice. Putman was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported. Vastbinder said Monday he had spoken with District Attorney General Tommy Thomas about the case. He explained charges were initially being pursued through juvenile court, which will rule on the merits of the case. He said juvenile court basically allowed the options of levying either a charge of being unruly or a delinquent act. The state will have to request the juvenile judge to have a hearing for a transfer to an adult court, where an actual criminal charge could be levied. Vastbinder said today the shooting remains under investigation and authorities are still “looking at a lot of things.” Funeral services for Putman — who worked as a towboat captain — were scheduled to be held this afternoon in Thayer, Mo., with burial to follow in Hardy, Ark. Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at cmenees@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 2.2.10

Leave a Comment