Drinking, dispute preceded shooting


Scott Wheeler was visiting with his father-in-law when he received a phone call just before 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

It was his neighbor, Russell Farnsworth, calling to tell him some terrible news.

“The guy that lives below me blew his girlfriend’s head off a couple minutes ago,” said Wheeler on the 911 phone call he placed to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. “I was up at my father-in-law’s and Russ called me and said that he did it. I went down there to make sure he actually did it and that it wasn’t a lie. I went down to check everything and he’s drunk.”

Russell Lee Farnsworth, 58, of 3227 Schoolhouse Road, Little Hocking, was arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend Patricia A. Corp, 55, with whom he lived.

Sheriff Larry Mincks confirmed that both Farnsworth and Corp had been “heavily drinking” when the domestic dispute ended in the alleged murder.

Farnsworth was arraigned in Marietta Municipal Court Monday and remains in the Washington County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

Farnsworth appeared via video conference from the Washington County Jail Monday for arraignment in Judge Janet Dyar Welch’s court. Welch set Farnsworth’s preliminary hearing for Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m.

“The weight of evidence is significant,” said Welch.

According to the report filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Farnsworth was arrested Sunday evening at his home. Lt. Kevin Hornbeck was the first officer on the scene and when he arrived, Wheeler and Farnsworth’s brother, Dana Farnsworth, were waiting outside.

“Then Russ came out with his hands up and said I’m the man you’re looking for,” said Mincks. “And then he turned around and put his hands behind his back for the handcuffs and started walking backwards. He didn’t resist arrest at all.”

When asked what had happened, Farnsworth allegedly stated that Patricia Corp told him Sunday evening that she had found someone else on the Internet and their relationship was over.

Farnsworth then allegedly stated he retrieved a shotgun from under a bed in his residence, returned to the room where Corp was located and pointed the gun at her, at which time Corp allegedly indicated Farnsworth “did not have the courage” to shoot her.

After allegedly pulling the shotgun’s trigger, Mincks said Farnsworth first called Wheeler and then called his brother.

“I’m not going to go back home until this is all figured out,” said Wheeler on the call. “I have a newborn baby and I’m not taking him down there. I came back to my father-in-law’s and called (911).”

Deputies located Corp in the residence, deceased from one gunshot wound to the head.

The shotgun was located by officials and taken into evidence Sunday night. Corp’s body was sent to the Montgomery County coroner for autopsy.

“I don’t think this will be a death penalty case but that’s not my choice,” said Mincks. “That’s in the hands of the county prosecutor. Farnsworth asked for court-appointed counsel as he sobered up today.”

Also in court Monday, Farnsworth’s mother asked Welch to put her son on suicide watch.

“I’m afraid that he might take his life now that he has sobered up,” she explained.

At a glance:

¯ Russell Lee Farnsworth, 58, of 3227 Schoolhouse Road, Little Hocking, was charged with the murder of Patricia A. Corp, 55, of the same address Sunday.

¯ Farnsworth allegedly shot Corp in the head with a shotgun around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

¯ Farnsworth appeared in Marietta Municipal Court Monday.

¯ Farnsworth remains in the Washington County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

Source: Times research.


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