CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (TCD) -- A 34-year-old man was arrested after allegedly confessing to shooting his mother and setting her vehicle on fire while she was inside.
According to WOWK-TV, on Wednesday, April 20, at approximately 4:30 p.m., West Virginia State Troopers responded to a report of a car that had been on fire in the Widen area of Clay County. A charred body was reportedly recovered from the vehicle and later identified as Darlene Faye Jackson.
Upon further investigation, authorities learned the victim lived with her son, Johnny Rogers, WOWK reports. He was reportedly interviewed.
According to WOWK, initially, Rogers said his mother dropped him off to go turkey hunting at 5:30 a.m., and she drove to another house to drop off food. Rogers allegedly became concerned around 7 a.m. when he walked home and his mother hadn’t returned. He reportedly told authorities he drove his ATV and found his mother’s burnt vehicle and alerted his sister, who called 911.
According to WSAZ-TV, Rogers eventually admitted to shooting his mother in the head with a rifle. He also reportedly told authorities he pushed her car over the side of the hill and set it on fire while she was inside.
One of the victim’s daughters, Melissa White, told WSAZ that Rogers lived with their mother on and off and said his behavior had become concerning. She told WSAZ, "I don’t really have a brother anymore. I lost him years ago to drugs. He’s never been the same."
Prior to the incident, the victim allegedly told her daughter she was afraid her son would hurt her. The daughter told WSAZ, "Several times she made remarks just because he’d go on binges, you know what I mean, and not be himself. I’d been around him a couple times and said that was not my brother. His eyes would be black, and it would be really scary."
According to records, Rogers was booked into the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility on April 20. He was reportedly charged with first-degree murder.
The victim’s recovered remains were brought to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy and examination, according to WSAZ.