Woman admits to shooting uncle over argument about "bunk dope"

Woman admits to shooting uncle over argument about "bunk dope"
Samantha Taylor (Source: Sharp County Sheriff's Department)

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Authorities in Sharp County say a woman admitted to shooting her uncle because she thought he gave her "bunk dope."

The shooting happened Dec. 14 on 69 Wilderness Drive in Hardy.

According to court documents, William Stricklin Sr. called dispatch sometime after 9 p.m. to advise them that he'd just witnessed a shooting and was driving the victim toward the highway.

When officers met Stricklin Sr. and the victim, William Welch, Welch repeatedly told police that his niece, Samantha Taylor, shot him.

Welch was transported to a local hospital with a gunshot wound to the torso. He was later airlifted to a trauma center in Jonesboro for surgery.

During the investigation, officers tracked Taylor, her boyfriend, William "B.J." Stricklin Jr., and their three children to a home in Cherokee Village.

"When they arrived, B.J. came out of a wooded area and yelled at the officers that he had shot Welch," the affidavit states.

B.J. was taken into custody, and Taylor and her children were found inside the home. All five were taken to the sheriff's department for questioning.

During an interview, one of Taylor's children stated she was watching TV in her parent's room when Welch showed up and started arguing with her mom.

"...she watched her mom retrieve the pistol from the nightstand next to the bed before she instructed them to go into the room with her grandpa, Bill Stricklin," the report states.

The child said she, her father B.J., and her two siblings went into her grandpa's room.

"...she heard her mom tell Welch to leave or she was going to shoot him," court documents state.

A few seconds later, the girl said she heard a gunshot.

"...she went to the doorway to look out and saw her mom standing in front of Welch, who was lying on the ground, and her mom had the pistol in her hand."

William Stricklin, Sr. corroborated the girl's story.

He told police he was afraid to try and help Welch because Taylor was standing over him with a gun aimed at his head saying, "If you call the cops, I will ****ing kill you."

Stricklin, Sr. said he eventually calmed Taylor down and talked her into allowing him to take Welch to the E.R.

The firearm Taylor used, a .22 caliber pistol, was later found under a log near the home.

During an interview with Taylor, she explained that Welch had been staying with her and her mother for the past few days. She said during that time, she, Welch and B.J. shared meth on a couple of different occasions.

"On the morning of December 14, Welch, B.J., and Samantha had shared some methamphetamine and after doing so, Samantha became sick," the affidavit states. "Samantha stated she felt that Welch had given her some 'bunk dope' and she was mad about it because it made her physically ill."

Taylor said she argued with Welch about the meth throughout the rest of the day. Around 9 p.m., Welch came to her bedroom door and started arguing with her again. That's when B.J. took their children to the grandfather's bedroom.

"Samantha stated Welch started to walk toward the room where B.J. and her children were and she then grabbed Welch by the collar of the shirt and pulled him backwards away from the door," the affidavit states. "Welch then turned around and grabbed Samantha by the hair."

That's when Taylor said she pulled the gun from her breast pocket, pointed it at Welch, and shot him as he retreated to the kitchen.

Taylor told officers she had the pistol on her because she figured she and Welch would get into another argument over the "bunk dope," and due to her small stature, she didn't think Welch would listen to her unless she had the gun.

After the shooting, B.J. and Taylor's brother hid the gun near the house under a log. Taylor and B.J. then talked about the shooting and agreed the shooting was in self-defense.

"Samantha also stated that B.J.'s confession of shooting Welch was an attempt to keep her from going to jail," court records state.

Taylor was arrested and charged with felony domestic battery, three felony counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, felony tampering with physical evidence and felony terroristic threatening.

B.J. Stricklin was charged with hindering apprehension, endangering the welfare of a minor, and tampering with physical evidence.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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