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Father, son face charges in shooting

October 29, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

McCONNELLSBURG, W.Va. - A 23-year-old McConnellsburg-area woman, who police said was shot in the chest with a 20-gauge shotgun Sunday night, was in serious condition at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, Pa., a spokeswoman there said Monday.

A father and his son were charged in connection with the shooting, police said.

The victim was identified as Rachel Diana Whitcomb of 10676 Lincoln Highway, Licking Creek Township.

The incident occurred at around 10 p.m. in Whitcomb's residence.

Whitcomb's boyfriend, Charles Joseph Sipes, 24, also of 10676 Lincoln Highway, was charged with criminally attempted homicide, aggravated assault and simple assault, according to the affidavit of probable cause on file in District Justice Brenda Knepper's office Monday.

Sipes' father, Charles Emory Sipes, 62, of 11380 Pleasant Ridge Road, Harrisonville, Pa., was charged with conspiracy to commit criminally attempted homicide, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit simple assault, tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice, according to the affidavit.

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Whitcomb and Charles Joseph Sipes were involved in an argument when Whitcomb was shot once in the upper right chest, court records said.

Charles Joseph Sipes, in a written statement to police, said he shot at Whitcomb with the 20-gauge shotgun but didn't mean to hit her, according to allegations in court records.

While police were investigating the incident, Charles Emory Sipes showed up at the scene and tried to enter the residence where the shooting occurred, court records said.

He was told by police several times that he was not allowed to enter the crime scene, court records said.

Police eventually forced Sipes on the ground and restrained him. He drove away when police told him to leave the premises, court records said.

He didn't go very far when he left his car and walked back to the residence and went inside through a back door, at which point he was arrested, court records said.

Both Sipes were arraigned before Knepper Monday morning and committed to the Bedford County Prison on $300,000 bail each where they remained Monday night, jail officials said.

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