WILLIAMSON, W.Va. -- Mingo County authorities are challenging claims that former Sheriff Eugene Crum raped the man who's been charged with murdering him, as well as any allegations that the sheriff's office ignored a complaint that sexual abuse had occurred.
Tennis Maynard is accused of shooting Crum twice in the head on April 3 as the sheriff ate lunch in his parked vehicle in downtown Williamson.
Maynard and Crum had known each other for years, with Crum previously serving as a boxing club mentor to Maynard when he was a teenager and when Crum was police chief in the town of Delbarton. Maynard is 37. Crum was 59 at the time of the shooting.
Crum had been a longtime community figure and a county magistrate for more than a decade when he stepped down to run for sheriff last year. He took office on Jan. 1.
"Eugene raped him," Melvin Maynard, Tennis Maynard's father, said in a video recorded by WCHS-TV and WOWK-TV outside a court hearing earlier this week. "It'd give me the damn right to kill him."
Prosecutor Michael Sparks said his office looked into the rape claims made this week by Maynard's family and found no evidence to support them.
It wasn't clear exactly when Tennis Maynard supposedly reported the abuse or when it allegedly occurred.
Video from WCHS-TV shows Maynard, handcuffed and being led out of the courthouse, declining to answer a reporter's question about whether Crum had sexually assaulted him.
Maynard did try to report the abuse, but his efforts were ignored, said his brother, Leslie Maynard.
"Six or seven months ago, before he shot Eugene, he tried to file charges and they just throwed (sic) it away," Leslie Maynard said.
No one answered the door during several visits to the Maynard family's Delbarton home, and there is no telephone listing for the family. Tennis Maynard's defense attorney, Rick Weston, did not immediately return a telephone call to his office seeking comment Friday.