VERONA, Ky. – A 92-year-old farmer and World War II veteran who fatally shot an intruder in his Kentucky home said in an interview that he had no fear of the man and aimed "right for his heart."
Earl Jones said he shot a man who came up the stairs and kicked open the basement door to his home early Monday in northern Kentucky's Boone County.
Jones told The Kentucky Enquirer he heard a noise in his basement around 2 a.m. Monday and grabbed his .22-caliber rifle. He sat in a chair with a clear view of the door, saying he fired when the intruder burst in.
"I aimed right for his heart," said Jones, who served in the military from 1941 through 1946. "I didn't go to war for nothing. I have the right to carry a gun. That's what I told the police."
Jones said he had no fear as he waited for the intruder.
"Was I scared? Was I mad? Hell, no," Jones said. "It was simple. That man was going to take my life. He was hunting me. I was protecting myself."
Police identified the slain man as 24-year-old Lloyd "Adam" Maxwell of Richmond.
Police say two men with Maxwell — Ryan Dalton, 22, and Donnie Inabnit, 20, both of Dry Ridge — removed the body from Jones' home after the shooting. Authorities said the men made up a story about how Maxwell was killed, but later acknowledged being present at Jones' home during a burglary.
The Boone County Sheriff's Department said Dalton and Inabnit have been charged with burglary and evidence tampering. The sheriff's department said the break-in was the third Jones has experienced on his farm this year.
Authorities are continuing to investigate the shooting. Kentucky law allows the use of physical force if someone believes it's needed to prevent criminal trespass, robbery or burglary in their house.
Authorities said they determined that one of the men crawled through a doggie door to enter Jones' basement, then let the others in.
Jones has lived alone since his wife died in 2006.