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Sheriff: Suspects Looking for Painkillers in Home Invasion

Posted at: 11/14/2013 9:31 AM
Updated at: 11/17/2013 7:08 PM
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com



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A 16-year-old male was charged with first-degree burglary for his alleged involvement in a home invasion near Sandstone Thursday that lead to the death of another young man.

The Pine County Sheriff believes 23-year-old Gypsy Wayne Watts and a 16-year-old male invaded the elderly man's home early Thursday morning looking for prescription drugs and other valuables.

“The prescription drug abuse is very big. It's getting to be more prevalent especially among the youth. Painkillers, so forth and so on. It's not unusual at all,” Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said.

The 75-year-old homeowner had prescriptions to relieve pain related to a cancer diagnosis according to Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole.

Authorities said Watts entered the home with a handgun. During a confrontation the homeowner was able to grab a gun he owned and shoot Watts according to the sheriff.

Watts died at the scene, but the sheriff said there is no evidence the homeowner did anything wrong. The sheriff said the case will be sent to the Pine County Attorney for review.

The homeowner's attorney advised him not to comment on the incident.

Authorities said the 16-year-old suspect fled the home, but was later arrested in downtown Sandstone. The juvenile is facing three counts of first-degree burglary for his alleged involvement.

Chief Deputy Blackwell said he could be tried as an adult.

“We will be seeking to get him certified as an adult to answer to those charges,” Blackwell said.

The juvenile's name has not been released, but Watts had assault and firearm possession charges on his record.

“We've had police contact with both the juvenile that was arrested and the deceased suspect. There are criminal histories on these individuals,” Blackwell said.

He said more details should be released next week.

Authorities did question two possible accomplices on Thursday, but those individuals were released. Blackwell does not believe they had any ties to the burglary so that leaves the 16-year-old male as the only remaining suspect.