Police say man shot ex-wife with bow after fight

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

An argument over a chilly hotel room led to a woman going to the hospital to be treated for a wound she suffered after being shot with a bow and arrow, police said.

Merriel E. Housman Jr., 56, of Jackson faces charges of felony domestic assault and armed criminal action against his ex-wife, Betty.

According to a probable-cause statement by Cape Girardeau County Detective Travis Sikes, the argument between the Housmans began on their car ride home from Alton, Ill., where they had attended a reunion Monday. Betty Housman had thought it was too cold in the hotel room she'd stayed at, and they argued until Merriel Housman threatened to shoot his ex-wife with his bow and arrow.

The argument continued when they arrived at the Jackson address. Betty Housman told police her ex-husband tried to choke her at one point.

She grabbed the phone in an attempt to call 911, but he hit her in the face with it and slammed her into the bed, the statement said.

She ran to get her gun, a Browning .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun, and went to the door, but her son tried to take it from her. During their struggle, the gun went off twice, the statement said.

Merriel Housman Jr. then came into the kitchen and shot her in the back of the shoulder with the bow and arrow, the statement said.

He tried to mop up the blood before police responded to the 911 call, but when officers arrived they discovered Betty Housman lying on the floor in a pool of blood and Merriel Housman Jr. with a smile on his face, the statement said.

Police were able to piece together the story through interviews with Betty Housman at the hospital and with her son at the scene.

Merriel Housman Jr. is at Cape Girardeau County Jail on $10,000 cash-only bond.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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