UPDATE 11/30/12 @ 11:42 a.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- A man accused of executing his estranged daughter-in-law in the parking lot of a Morgantown Wal-Mart over a child-custody dispute is set to enter a plea.
The Associated Press says 54-year-old Larry Lynn Mitchell of Shinnston is scheduled to appear before Monongalia County Circuit Judge Phil Gaujot on Dec. 7.
Mitchell is charged with first-degree murder, and his attorney, Tom Dyer, says he plans to plead guilty to the charge.
Should he change his mind, Mitchell will stand trial Dec. 11 in the slaying of 29-year-old Shannon Stafford.
Investigators say Mitchell shot Stafford repeatedly inside her car and after she got out April 21.
Stafford was there to meet Mitchell's son and to pick up their 2-year-old daughter, Faith, for a weekend visit.
Witnesses restrained Mitchell until police arrived.
Police say Mitchell shot and killed his daughter-in-law in a Walmart parking lot back on April 21.
"I was in the dressing room and a woman came running back that a lady had just run in with her children and there was a man in the parking lot shooting," said Cherie Johnson, who was inside the Walmart at the time of the shooting.
This woman, Shannon Stafford, 29, gunned down in a Walmart parking lot. But it’s who police say pulled the trigger that’s left many shocked. Stafford’s own family, Larry Mitchell, 54, the father of her estranged husband.
"She was shot while she sat in the vehicle and she exited the vehicle and he continued to fire as she left the vehicle," said Chief Ed Preston, Morgantown Police Department.
Police said Mitchell kept firing until Stafford collapsed. She was pronounced dead at the scene. But Mitchell didn’t get too far. He was caught by a group of people in the parking lot.
"Once we got over there we ordered him to the ground and we tried to tell him to be quiet and soon after that police showed up," said David Frischknecht, helped subdue Mitchell.
The events that led up to the shooting remain a mystery although police did say it was motivated by some sort of family dispute.
"None of the parties are from Morgantown or Monongalia County,” said Preston. “So we're working with the Harrison County offices now to go back into the history of the events leading up to this."
But this deadly dispute has now torn a family apart. A young mother dead and a father-in-law behind bars charged in her death.
Mitchell’s being held in the North Central Regional Jail. No bond has been set at this time.
Fifty-four-year-old Larry Mitchell was charged Saturday with
murder and was being held at the Doddridge Regional Jail.
According to police, officers responding to an emergency call
Saturday morning found one group of people surrounding the victim
and another detaining a suspect.
The victim was identified as 29-year-old Shannon Stafford, also
known as Shannon Mitchell, of Bruceton Mills.
Police say Larry Mitchell shot Stafford several times as she sat
in her vehicle, and continued shooting after she got out. They say
an ongoing family dispute was the apparent motive for the shooting.