91-Year-Old Said He Shot Man In Self-Defense

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A 91-year-old man said he had no choice but to shoot a man who he said dragged his neighbor through the house by her hair.

"She would be dead," Shirley Becraft said of his neighbor, Virginia Devoe. "I guarantee you."

Becraft spoke on Thursday for the first time about killing Devoe's ex-boyfriend, James Ryan McVay, 28, two days earlier.

Becraft hasn't been charged, police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio said Friday. Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said a grand jury will decide whether he shot in self-defense.

Becraft said he went to Devoe's house Tuesday night with a gun because he was concerned about her safety. He said Devoe, 54, came to his house crying earlier that day saying McVay had called her and said he was coming to kill her. Becraft said he told Devoe to stay at his house, but she was concerned that McVay would carry out his threat to burn her house.

Becraft said that when he got to the house, McVay was attacking Devoe. He said when he yelled, McVay put him in a chokehold.

Becraft said he fired the gun behind him, into McVay's chest, to release the man's arm from around his neck. McVay then stumbled outside, where he collapsed and died on Devoe's driveway.

Becraft said he had previously told McVay to stop harassing Devoe. A Franklin County domestic-relations judge had issued a protection order against McVay in January 2001.

"He was trying to kill her day and night. I warned him and warned him and warned him," Becraft said. "I knew there was going to be trouble someday."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)