Jesse James Owens, 30, who was already facing a pair of firearms charges after the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office found a body in Cana Saturday night, was charged Monday afternoon with the new charges, Carroll County Commonwealth’s Attorney Nathan Lyons said. Willey is believed to be the person reported shot Friday night that led to an overnight investigation and Owens’ arrest.
According to Carroll County Sheriff J.B. Gardner, a body of a female was found a little before 7 p.m. on Saturday by a person walking on Holly Ridge Road, just off Brushy Fork Road in Cana.
“She was out in the open. There was no problem seeing her at all,” Gardner said.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office began searching for an unidentified person after receiving a call of a possible shooting Friday night at 90 Boot Jack Drive. Owens, the resident of 90 Boot Jack Drive, was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon a couple of hours after the investigation began.
According to Gardner, his office received a call at about 9:30 p.m. on Friday advising of a possible shooting at 90 Boot Jack Drive. Deputies arrived at the residence and found evidence that indicated someone had been injured in the home and removed, Gardner said.
The Carroll Sheriff’s Office then put out an alert to be on the lookout for a 1980s’ model silver or gray Chevrolet long bed pickup with a short bed camper shell on the back. The vehicle was located a short time later at a home on Virginia Street by the Hillsville Police Department.
“Officers Jason Hawks, Dennis Boyer and Billy Anuao located the vehicle and (Investigator) Junior (Alderman) came out and helped process the crime scene. It was just a cooperative effort between both agencies,” said Hillsville Police Chief Greg Bolen. “They were on patrol and one of the officers had prior knowledge that (Owens) was friends with somebody in town. They rode by the house and spotted the vehicle and notified the sheriff’s office to get more officers there. That is when the sheriff’s office and our department both went in.”
At that point, Gardner said Owens was located and brought to the sheriff’s office.
“After consultation with the Carroll County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Owens was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon,” Gardner said.
Gardner said Owens is being held in New River Valley Regional Jail without bond.
Gardner said his department received a missing person’s report at about 6 p.m. on Saturday of Willey, a female worker of Hillsville’s Burger King who had not reported to work.
“We thought we knew who it was, but when a person was reported missing it helped narrow down the identification of the person,” Gardner said. “Shortly after she was reported missing, the body was found in Cana.”
Owens was found guilty in 2006 of involuntary manslaughter for his part in a July 5, 2004, traffic accident that resulted in the death of his passenger, Kelly Lynn Brentzel, near Shoney’s in Hillsville. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail, with eight years suspended, and is still on probation. He was also due to appear in court on March 13 in Buchanan County for possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.