Ronald Shelton case still active

Friday, January 27, 2012

Jan. 29, 2011, or one year ago on Sunday this weekend, three bullets were fired through a window of the door to Ronald Shelton's apartment on 7th Avenue South.

The gunfire was heard by neighbors. Police were called, and early this week, Lewisburg Police Detective Sgt. David Henley said Shelton's murder is an active case and still under investigation.

Robbery and burglary probably aren't motives in this case.

The nature of speculation about Shelton's murder, and others, has probably exceeded reality, but as one close knit community in America points out; "Many hands make light work," so when more people think about why Shelton was killed, the prospect of an arrest increases.

Still, that requires area residents to participate in this American experiment of democracy. We are the people who make things happen. As much as our government has been assailed this election year, it really is all about us.

If you know something that could help police solve that shooting death, then you should consider it a duty to yourself and your family's well being to share that information. Call Crime Stoppers at 359-4867 where callers' identities are kept confidential, or call city police detectives at 359-3800.

Shelton's sister, Betty Shelton of Petersburg, recalls her last phone call with her brother on the morning of the day he died. All he wanted was for her to "Make me some real chicken salad." Apparently, he didn't like "that store-bought stuff." He'd just received his income tax refund and wanted home cooking so much that he would pay for it.

It's as if his hunger wasn't so much for food, but rather for family.

We hug our kinfolk at times when tragedy strikes. We should do it more often.

Shelton's apartment still displayed Christmas decorations. We should think of every day as a Christmas to celebrate being alive. We need to hug our community and help our police.


Maybe, Marshall County commissioners didn't violate state laws calling for transparency in government, but what they did - when making a recommendation on who should be hired as assistant budget director - was dance on the edge of a double-edged sword.

Commissioners Barry Spivey, Phil Willis, Mickey King and Sheldon Davis agreed to rank three applicants for a new job in the budget office. They agreed that the results of their assessment would be tallied and then the candidate with the highest score would get the recommendation to be hired by the retiring budget director who'd asked them to participate in what, otherwise, would be her job - hiring an employee.

It was clear from the git-go that the director would follow their advice, making it clear she'd rubber stamp their decision. So, their recommendation was a decision and their ranking was effectively a tool to indicate preference. To say there was no vote is making a distinction without a difference.

The problem is that when the commissioners' rankings of the applicants was made public, their names were not recorded or reported in a matrix so the public doesn't know who voted more for one and less for another applicant.

The other edge of the double-edged sword is news coverage.

The broad edge of the sword reflects what the public could do with public information, or the lack thereof. It's possible, although unlikely, that the method of voting on applicants could become the subject of a lawsuit that would nullify the hiring decision.

Still, under the circumstances, the person who landed the job might be a lot like the dog that caught the car and then didn't know what to do with it.