W. Va. sheriff shooting suspect bought multiple guns

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A prosecutor says a man accused of killing a West Virginia sheriff bought several guns — not just one — after he had been determined legally ineligible to own them.

Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks says the purchases were made after February 2010, when 37-year-old Tennis Maynard was deemed ineligible. Sparks hasn't said why Maynard wasn't allowed to own a gun, but the suspect's father says his son had mental problems and had been institutionalized.

Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness.

But a state database that shares such information with a national background-check system wasn't operational until January 2011. Sparks says Maynard's purchases were made before then, including the weapon used to shoot Sheriff Eugene Crum in Williamson.

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