The wife of a West Virginia pastor has been charged after she allegedly fired a gun in a church parking lot following an argument with another minister’s spouse over a t-shirt.
Melinda Frye Toney, 44, is accused of firing her pistol at New Life Apostolic Church in Oak Hill back in May.
Toney, who is married to New Life pastor Earl Toney, was charged last week after authorities reviewed surveillance footage of the incident in the church parking lot.
Authorities said the incident happened after Toney had gotten into an argument with Lori Haywood – the wife of the church’s youth pastor David Haywood.
The two women had previous tensions but an argument over a t-shirt that Haywood wore to a church event allegedly tipped Toney over the edge.
The pastors had urged their wives to meet on May 11 to hash the conflict out when the incident occurred.
The women were accompanied by their husbands and children.
‘The pastor and the youth pastor had thought, ‘Maybe we could get them together, we can hash this out and fix this before it escalates’,’ Fayette Sheriff’s Detective Kevin Willis told the Register-Herald.
‘Of course, it just made it worse, I think.’
Haywood did not elaborate on what caused the argument but said she had ‘called out’ dishonest statements that Toney had made during their meeting.
‘We had a disagreement and when we sat down to talk, I called her out… And she lost it,’ Haywood said.
Authorities said Toney left the meeting briefly and went to her car to retrieve a gun that she had lawfully obtained.
‘The suspect leaves the church and goes outside and retrieves a firearm,’ detective Willis said.
‘So then, whenever she comes outside of the church, the husband is with her and realizes what she is doing and goes to grab her and it goes off.’
Haywood said she was trying to leave the church when the gunshot rang out.
The Haywood’s children were present at the time.
‘We were just trying to leave, peaceful,’ she said. ‘The reason for the shooting was stupid and very unnecessary.’
Toney was charged with wanton endangerment.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Emily Crane