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Murder case heads to grand jury

Chambers County District Court Judge Calvin Milford found probable cause Tuesday to move the murder case of a Valley man to the hands of a grand jury.

Patrick Templeton, 50, was arrested on murder charges on Jan. 4 after allegedly shooting Justin Meadows outside of Templeton’s home on the 1000 block of County Road 495. Templeton was not in court Tuesday, but his attorney Andrew Maddox represented him.

During a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Valley Police Department Detective Chris Daniel testified that after police arrived at 1046 County Road 495 in Valley — Templeton’s home — at about 1:39 a.m. they found Meadows lying face down and a vehicle stuck in the yard.  Templeton admitted to shooting Meadows with a .22 long rifle, which was voluntarily given to police.

After police read Templeton his rights, he gave a written confession at about 3:59 a.m.

According to the testimony given by Daniel, in the confession Templeton said he was awakened by a car making noise in his yard. He said he went outside to confront the driver about driving in his yard and not using the driveway. In his confession, Templeton said Meadows threatened violence toward him as he started walking away and said Meadows hit him in the back of the head more than once. 

According to court testimony, Templeton wrote in his confession that he went inside his home to grab his rifle, walked back outside and asked Meadows repeatedly to leave. He said Meadows knelt down by his car, and Templeton believed he could have been going for a weapon, so he fired his rifle.

After firing “two or three times,” Templeton’s confession said he approached Meadows and nudged him with his foot, realized Meadows was hurt and yelled for his wife to call the police.

Daniel said Meadows was shot once in the back of the head, and there were no weapons found in the car or on the property belonging to Meadows.

The only other witness to the incident was Templeton’s wife, Michelle Orange Templeton, who gave her own account of the situation, Daniel said.

Michelle told police that Meadows was trying to reach Bradley Hill, who was her son. When she said Hill wasn’t home, she told police Meadows politely left.

Her statement said Templeton woke up after Meadows was stuck, went outside, and then came back inside shortly after saying that Meadows struck him. Michelle said in her statement that this is when her husband grabbed his gun. In her statement to police, Michelle said she asked her husband not to shoot Meadows and saw Meadows behind the trunk of his car. Her statement said Meadows realized Templeton had a gun, said “oh, you’re going to shoot me now,” and turned to walk away.

Michelle’s statement said while Meadows was walking away, Templeton shot him and Meadows fell down. She said in her statement that Templeton walked over to Meadows, kicked him and told him to get up.

Daniel said Meadows was found several feet from his vehicle when police arrived.

Since probable cause was found, the case now moves to a grand jury. The next grand jury cycle in Chambers County is in August. If an indictment is reached during the grand jury, then an arraignment date is held in the circuit court where Templeton would plead guilty or not guilty. If he pleads not guilty, the case will move to the jury trial cycles, which are in April and November.

Templeton is currently out on bond.