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Grand jury to review evidence in shooting

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Ill mother-in-law the only suspect, police say

By Bob White

 

By BOB WHITE bwhite@thenewsenterprise.com ELIZABETHTOWN – Elizabethtown police may not file criminal charges against the elderly woman thought to have shot her daughter-in-law at their shared home Sunday evening in downtown Elizabethtown. Elizabethtown Police Department spokesman Virgil Willoughby said Tuesday afternoon that evidence in the case will continue to be gathered for presentation to a Hardin County grand jury. Shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday, Army Sgt. 1st Class David L. Peterson, 39, called Elizabethtown dispatch to report his wife, Carlotta Mae Peterson, 38, had been shot in the kitchen of their North Main Street home. The soldier’s mother, 74-year-old Harietta Stewart, was reportedly in the kitchen with his wife when the shots were fired. The husband told police he was on the porch at the time and said his mother likely fired the shots. Police say Stewart suffers from severe dementia. Willoughby said her mental health is so bad, she had to be carried away from the home Sunday before questioning. She is now in the care of Adult Protective Services. “It’s just tragic,” one neighbor said. “My child rides the same bus with their son. It’s just sad.” The Petersons have an 11-year-old son, Tyler. The husband, who just returned home Thursday on a mid-tour leave from Iraq, declined an interview Tuesday. According to Army officials, Peterson has been stationed at Fort Riley, Kan. since fall 2007 with a military transition unit. He’d been stationed at Fort Knox prior to that, Army officials said. Much of his wife’s family resides in Hawaii, according to obituary information. Nelson-Edelen-Bennett Funeral Home in Radcliff is in charge of funeral arrangements. The funeral is scheduled for Saturday at the funeral home. Sunday’s fatal shooting was the first homicide in Elizabethtown this year and only the second this year in Hardin County. The other occurred in January when, according to prosecutors, 27-year-old former Army National Guardsman Jeremy Shields, an Iraq war veteran, killed a young mother he’d met while working a warehouse job in Shepherdsville. The victim, Wendy Sue Logsdon, was killed with a hammer strike to the head at Shields’ parents’ home in Radcliff, court records reflect. Her partially burned body was found in a rural area of Hart County two days after she was reported missing. There were 10 homicide cases in 2007, half of which occurred by the end of May. Two of those cases have been resolved. Trials in the others are expected to begin this month and continue through February. Bob White can be reached at (270) 505-1750.