Emerson detective recovering from domestic shooting
by Staff Report
Oct 01, 2010 | 2554 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An Emerson Police Department investigator is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg and was still hospitalized Thursday. Sara Denise Shinall, 47, an EPD employee for about a year, was involved in a Tuesday domestic incident in Whitfield County.

Whitfield County Sheriff's Office authorities arrested Melvin Laray Roberts, 55, of Dalton in connection with the incident, which was first reported as an accidental shooting. When police arrived at the couple's home during the early morning hours, Shinall was lying on the bathroom floor and said, "He shot me, get him away from me. He thinks I'm cheating on him and he shot me."

The domestic incident began one to two hours prior and Roberts allegedly prevented Shinall from calling for help for some time. The two had lived together since August of last year.

Police found two pistols at the scene, both lying on the bed with the magazines removed and the slides locked back. It is unclear if the firearm used in the shooting was Shinall's duty weapon.

Roberts was charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

EPD Chief Stan Bradley said it is unclear when Shinall would return to work, adding that recovery from the gunshot that shattered her pelvis could be lengthy.

According to published reports, Roberts served five years on probation following a 2003 incident in which he doused his wife with gasoline and threatened to ignite a cigarette lighter. He did not spark the lighter, and got probation at the request of his wife, who did not want Roberts to go to prison.

In connection with Shinall's injury, Roberts was denied bond by a magistrate judge but is expected to have a bond hearing in Superior Court.