One person shot in Mercer County - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

School bus fight leads to murder arrest

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59 News has learned more details about the events leading up to the deadly Mercer County mom fight from a press conference by State Police.

State Police said Kowaleski's and Slagle's two elementary schoolers were riding the bus home. State police said during the investigation a family member stated the girls were "best friends."During the bus ride, one girl kicked the other girl. This is why the two mothers began exchanging phone calls and text messages.

In the criminal complaint it states Kowaleski's Aunt, identified as Barbara Harrington by the complaint, took Kowaleski's cell phone and arranged a meeting between the two.

The compliant states Harrington accompanied Kowaleski to the meeting with Slagle. This is when things turned violent.  According to the complaint, Slagle pulled out a tazer.  Kowaleski's statement to the police said she was only trying to get Slagle off of her when her gun fired. The complaint said it struck Slagle.

Police said Slagle later died at an area hospital from the gun shot wound. Kowaleski is facing a first degree murder charge.


A press conference is planned for 3 p.m. to release details of an argument on Thursday, March 28 that lead to murder charges. 

State police from the Princeton Detachment responded to the call at around 9:10 p.m.  Judith Kowaleski, 42, of Bluefield had allegedly shot Elizabeth Slagle, 42, also of Bluefield.  The two had apparently been arguing about fight their children had on the school bus.  Slagle later died at Bluefield Regional Medical Center.

Kowaleski was arraigned in front of judge Omar Aboulhosn on Friday morning.  She was taken to the Southern Regional Jail.

What started as an argument between kids lead to Murder in Mercer County.

West Virginia State Police troopers with the Princeton Detachment arrested Judith Kowaleski, 42 this morning on a charge of First Degree Murder.  Kowaleski is accused of shooting another person after a fight in Brushfork at around 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 28.

The victim was taken to Bluefield Regional Medical Center in critical condition.  That person later died, prompting the murder charge.

Troopers tell 59News that the disagreement began between kids.  That lead to an argument on social media between the parents.  Troopers said that lead to a face to face confrontation.

Kowaleski was arraigned on Friday, March 29 in front of Judge Omar Aboulhosn.  59News has a crew on the way to the scene and will have more information as it becomes available.

One person has been shot in Mercer County.

Dispatchers tell 59 News that the shooting happened around 10 p.m. in Brushfork on Nichols Road, at the intersection of Route 123.

One person was taken to the hospital by ambulance.  Dispatchers said that Troopers with the West Virginia State Police Detachment in Princeton brought in several people for questioning.

The shooting remains under investigation.  Many other details are not yet being released.  Stay with 59 News for the latest on this developing story.

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