BLANCHESTER — The victim of a shooting late Wednesday afternoon in Blanchester underwent surgery that night at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, according to police, and while Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said evidence indicates the incident was accidental, the victim’s sister has questioned that report.
Authorities said Mary Neace, 28, of 138 Orchard View Lane was shot in the torso Wednesday afternoon by a 9mm Glock pistol fired by her boyfriend, Jamie McLaughlin, 31, of the same address. Neace was flown by medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital, according to police.
After several calls from the Wilmington News Journal to the hospital Thursday seeking the victim’s condition, a hospital spokesperson said there was no “Mary Neace” registered there, but due to the circumstances under which she may have been admitted, she could be under a different name.
Reinbolt said “amorous role-playing” played a part in the incident, and the shooting may have been accidental, but the victim’s sister, Kathleen Neace, claimed that’s not the case.
Kathleen Neace contacted the News Journal on Thursday, stating she believes that her sister was trying to defend herself.
She said she wants “help getting justice for my sister” and that Mary Neace is currently “in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) right now fighting for her life.”
Kathleen Neace claimed that Mary Neace had multiple bruises all over her body, a swollen eye and broken fingernails, and that she was given seven units of blood.
Reinbolt said investigators have more work to do before they can determine whether or not there was foul play in the incident.
“We still have some interviews to complete, as well as processing some physical evidence, before I will know whether or not a criminal offense has been committed,” he said.
In response to the News Journal asking about social media claims in the case, Reinbolt said, “The initial responding officer saw the victim as she was being removed from the house on a stretcher. She was covered and under medical care. We did not stop the emergency medical treatment in order to view or photograph her. That would have been, at the least, ill-advised at that time.”
He added, “I can assure you that our current theory of the case (that it was an accidental shooting) is supported by evidence other than the statements of McLaughlin. While saying more at this point would answer some of our critics, I’m afraid if I provide any additional detail on that point at this moment I could compromise the investigation. I’ll take the heat and preserve the integrity of the process.”
According to Clinton County court records, a Jamie L. McLaughlin, same age, was convicted in 2008 of aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and sentenced to a prison term.
There is also a drug-related third-degree felony conviction, as well as a fifth-degree felony in 2007 in Greene County, for which he was sentenced to prison time and ordered to forfeit a vehicle.
He also allegedly failed to appear on a driving under suspension charge on April 17, 2018 in Clinton County Municipal Court.