CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A man charged with killing a West Virginia sheriff is being investigated by federal prosecutors over his gun permit application, a prosecutor said Thursday.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Thursday that the investigation will focus on the form filled out by 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, including whether he was truthful about his personal information.
Maynard is accused of shooting Sheriff Eugene Crum last week as he ate lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot.
Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has said Maynard wasn't allowed to own a gun but wouldn't disclose why. Maynard's father has said his son had mental problems and had previously been in an institution.
Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is leading the investigation into the application, Goodwin said.
"Lying on the form is a federal crime," he said.
Goodwin said the investigation also would look into whether there was a violation of gun possession law.
Authorities haven't disclosed what year Maynard bought a weapon at a local gun shop after filling out his gun application. Sometime after that, Maynard was turned down when he tried to make additional purchases, Sparks said.