Defendant in fatal shooting indicted

Shawn Nicely

WOODSTOCK — A Shenandoah County Circuit Court grand jury indicted a man Wednesday on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a woman at a residence near Mount Jackson.

Authorities say the defendant, Shawn Jason Nicely, 37, of 1521 Fravel Road, Mount Jackson, fired several rounds into the residence while he was target shooting with his daughter 936 feet away. The grand jury also indicted Nicely on a charge of reckless use of a firearm while causing serious bodily injury.

The victim, Gina Shoemaker, 47, of Edinburg, was inside the residence with family members at 37 Charlotte Lane when she was shot and killed Nov. 23. Investigators say she died from a single shot fired by a 30.06 rifle traced to Nicely. Court documents say the residence was located behind a target used by Nicely and obscured by a wooded area.

The involuntary manslaughter charge is a new and more serious offense than the initial charge of reckless handling of a firearm that was filed against Nicely last year. Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years, double the maximum for conviction of reckless use of a firearm.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wisely said the investigation into the case continued for a while after Nicely’s arrest.

“Additional facts were revealed through the investigation, which is why we had the additional charge,” Wisely said of the involuntary manslaughter indictment. She gave no details on what additional information had been obtained.

Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp set a bail of $20,000 unsecured bond for Nicely, who appeared in court with his attorney, Robert Vaughn.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com