Authorities said Thursday they arrested and charged a Marion man for shooting and killing his neighbor during a dispute.
Lt. Chris Taylor of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office charged Glenn Edward Gardin, 63, of 173 Hicks Memorial Baptist Church Road in Marion, with voluntary manslaughter.
Shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, sheriff’s deputies and troopers with the N.C. Highway Patrol responded to Gardin’s residence after he called 911 and reported that he shot his neighbor, 63-year-old Todd Alan Swepson, of 184 Hicks Memorial Church Road in Marion.
Detective Paul Alkire said the two men, who have a history of altercations with each other, had been drinking at Gardin’s residence and got into another confrontation that led to the shooting. Gardin attempted on multiple occasions to get Swepson out of his house once the dispute arose and Swepson refused to do so, according to the sheriff’s office.
During the argument, Gardin brandished a small-caliber revolver and shot Swepson once in the chest.
Corrina Robinson, the owner of the trailer park where both men lived, spoke of their long-standing issues, including a criminal summons for simple assault issued by Gardin in mid-December.
“It’s been escalating for over a year now. Glenn’s had charges on Todd and they’d just gone to court over them last week,” said Robinson. “He’s had restraining orders out on Todd and I don’t know what possessed him to go up into Glenn’s yard, but I guess he’d gotten tired of it and shot him.”
According to Robinson, whose family rented the trailers to both men, Gardin and Swepson had a good relationship with each other prior to the criminal charges.
“They’d been school buddies back in the day, and they’re both good men,” said Robinson. “It’s just when they started drinking, that’s when everything started to happen. It’s a shock that this happened and it’s awful for everyone on both sides.”
Deputies and state troopers performed CPR on Swepson at the scene but were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive him.
Once in custody, Gardin was charged with voluntary manslaughter instead of murder due to the pending simple assault case involving both parties. According to McDowell Sheriff’s Office officials, the voluntary manslaughter statute says that people have the right to defend themselves in their home, but should not use excessive force.
Gardin received a $100,000 bond.