Woman in Wise County shooting investigation identified

Mike Still • Feb 4, 2020 at 9:15 PM

WISE — The woman wounded in a shooting in the Stephens community near Wise has been identified by Wise County Sheriff’s Office investigators.

Sheriff Grant Kilgore said Marshea Noel Absher, 29, of Norton, was found by Norton police officers who responded to a call shortly after midnight Monday.

Absher, who was shot in the back, was in a car parked in a cemetery on Limestone Road behind the Stephens Chapel Freewill Baptist Church, according to investigators. She was taken to a Tennessee hospital where, according to Kilgore, she remained Tuesday.

Christopher Dale Stevens, 39, of Norton, was found dead near Absher’s car.

William Mattias Mills, 35, 706 Second St., Coeburn, was found with multiple gunshot wounds in the woods nearby. He was being held Tuesday by Tennessee authorities on a fugitive warrant in connection with a Virginia assault-and-battery charge, according to investigators.

Investigators said Mills had told emergency personnel that Absher had picked him up and driven him to a secluded location. After the two arrived, Mills said, someone opened the car’s driver’s side door and began shooting at him before he exited the vehicle and fled the scene.

After speaking with witnesses Monday, investigators arrested Jarred Ray Hash, 39, of Norton, and charged him with the aggravated malicious wounding of Mills and with the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Hash, according to Capt. Charles Sanders, told investigators that he went to the cemetery late Sunday so Absher would bring Mills to be assaulted by Stevens.

Sanders said that Hash said he waited in the woods before hearing two or three gunshots, then went to the car, drew his weapon and fired at Mills multiple times before chasing him into the woods.

Kilgore said the incident is still under investigation.

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