Updated Tue, Jun 25, 2013 5:07 pm
More details have been released about the June 20 shooting death of a man who allegedly burglarized a home on Taylor Ridge Road.
According to Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly, Keith "P.J." Rutter, 33, of Glouster, was in possession of a knife when he allegedly entered 18545 Taylor Ridge Road.
No one was in the residence at the time of the alleged burglary, Kelly said, but one of the residents was outside mowing the lawn. Kelly identified the resident as the mother-in-law of the man that shot Rutter.
"We believe (Rutter) went through the woods (surrounding the property) and entered the residence when her back was turned," Kelly told The Messenger on Tuesday.
Kelly said that the investigation has revealed that Rutter entered the home through the open front door and exited through the back door, going back toward the woods at the back of the property, which is listed as owned by Ronnie G. Shover.
When shots were fired, the shooter was not inside the home, according to Kelly.
The shooter — who Kelly will not identify because he does not plan to charge him with a crime — was also not a resident of the home.
Kelly wrote a statement for the media addressing claims made that a female who was interviewed by a media agency had "witnessed the shooting" and said Rutter had a knife and keys to the residence when he was found.
"Detective Brice Fick interviewed the female and the female recanted the story," Kelly said in his statement.
Kelly did confirm to The Messenger however that a set of keys to the residence was found in Rutter's pocket along with the knife.
Fick also recovered items in Chauncey and Nelsonville pawn shops that were pawned under Rutter's name, Kelly said.
The media statement by Kelly also addressed claims he said were made in local media reports by County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.
Blackburn was quoted in a media report saying "the (shooting) suspect was not believed to be in any danger ... He shot a fleeing burglary suspect... The home was unoccupied."
Kelly called this a "supposition on behalf of the prosecutor and not based on information from my office," according to the statement.
"I would prefer if he shared any information he has with my office before he shared them with the media," Kelly told The Messenger on Tuesday. "We (investigators) need to collect all the facts before any meetings can happen and before anybody should go to grand jury."
The investigation will conclude and Kelly said he will allow the prosecutor to review the case when Blackburn returns from an out-of-town conference he has been attending.
Blackburn could not be reached for comment Tuesday.