No charges in Mason woman's shooting death

Press conference: No charges in Mason woman's shooting death
Published: Sep. 14, 2015 at 11:13 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2015 at 3:21 PM EDT
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Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell announces no indictment in the shooting death of Susan...
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell announces no indictment in the shooting death of Susan Sparks. (FOX19 NOW/Shawn Lanier)

MASON, OH (FOX19) - No criminal charges will be filed in the shooting death of a Mason woman earlier this year.

Susan Sparks, 56, died in her Heritage Club residence March 30.

A grand jury declined to indict her husband on a murder charge, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell announced Monday.

That was the only charge presented to the grand jury.

Sparks' husband, Tim Sparks, has told police he trying to take the shotgun away from his wife and was holding the weapon when it went off inside the couple's bedroom.

Sparks, 58, said his wife was walking around their Mackenzie Court home with a shotgun and stated to him "it will be better this way," an incident report states.

He called 911 about 7 a.m.

Mason police described the shooting at the time as a "questionable death, so that's why it warranted further investigation.

Fornshell said Monday Tim Sparks was interviewed twice, and he was "extremely cooperative" with authorities for several weeks.

DNA testing determined his DNA and fingerprints were not on the gun or the bullets loaded into it.

The investigation also turned up a common theme: Susan Sparks suffered from severe depression and was prescribed medication to treat it.

Several people told authorities she had bipolar disorder, but she was never diagnosed or treated for it, according to medical records, Fornshell said.

She also suffered a drug overdose in recent years, he added. It was not clear if that was intentional or accidental.

That weighed in the grand jury's mind as they considered her husband's story that she was trying to kill herself when the gun went off, the prosecutor said.

"They did not believe it was a purposeful killing of another. He did not purposely kill his wife," Fornshell said.

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