Man accused of shooting daughter out on bail

Allen Julian Whitehead Jr.

FRONT ROYAL – A town resident accused of shooting his daughter in the face is out on bail after a hearing on Thursday in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Judge William Sharp set a secured bond of $25,000 for Allen Julian Whitehead Jr., 53, of 710 Washington Ave., after Whitehead was charged with unlawful wounding, reckless handling of a firearm and discharging a firearm in an occupied dwelling.

Whitehead posted the bond later in the day and was released from the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail.

Sgt. Crystal Cline of the Front Royal Police Department said the victim, Heather Nicole Wilson, 32, remained at UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville.

“She’s still in stable condition and improving at UVA,” Cline said of Wilson.

Police say Whitehead shot Wilson in the face at his home Wednesday night during what they described as a domestic dispute.

A criminal complaint filed by Investigator David Fogle states that police received a report of a gunshot at Whitehead’s residence and arrived to find Wilson lying on the front lawn with a gunshot wound to the face.

The complaint states that Whitehead was also on the lawn and told police he had shot Wilson by accident.

Whitehead told police that he and Wilson had been arguing throughout the day, the complaint states.

Fogle wrote that Whitehead reported going to his safe to get a handgun that he intended to give to his wife for her protection while he was away at work the same night.

Whitehead told police that Wilson came down the hallway with what he believed to be a knife in her right hand, the complaint states. Whitehead, who said he feared for his safety, “grabbed the handgun off of the ledge and shot Heather with the round striking her in the face,” Fogle wrote.

The bullet hit Wilson to the left of her nose and traveled behind the left eye socket, across the left cheekbone and exited by the left ear, the complaint states.

Wilson was taken to Winchester Medical where she gave a statement to police that differed from Whitehead’s version of the incident.

Wilson reported that she had agreed to go with her father to a hospital for an unspecified evaluation, the complaint states. She followed Whitehead to a room with the safe, and he told her to go back to the hallway and close her eyes while he went to the safe, the complaint states. Wilson added that she believed Whitehead wanted her to keep her eyes closed to prevent her from seeing the combination to the safe while he opened it.

Fogle wrote that Wilson told police that “her father stated, ‘OK, I’m ready, come here,’ and then all she can remember was feeling a burning sensation on her face.”

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